Made In Chicago: Central Camera

Jim Gudas
February 10, 2020 - 6:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A longtime shop in Chicago’s South Loop represents photography’s past and future.

“This is like walking back in time. It’s a museum of photography," said Don Flesch, the owner of Central Camera on Wabash Avenue.

And yet even in this digital age, customers still keep coming to buy old-school cameras and film.

Central Camera Co. Made In Chicago
WBBM Newsradio/Jim Gudas

“First couple I waited on this morning have a daughter who’s 13 or 14 taking her first photo class,” Flesch told WBBM Newsradio during a recent visit.

Central Camera first opened in 1899, and has been at its present location on Wabash just south of Adams since 1929.

Flesch is the third generation of his family to own Central Camera, and the curator of what he calls a “living, working museum.”

The family plans to keep Central Camera going for years to come, he said.

“My son is 31. My daughter is 29, and they have interest in photography,” Flesch said.

He adds: “I’m not thinking about retirement.”

Central Camera Film Stock
Remember film stock? It still exists at Chicago's Central Camera Co. (WBBM Newsradio/Jim Gudas)





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