For two years, Glass Key Photo has been a delightful pop-up in the back of Rooky Ricardo's vinyl shop in the Lower Haight.
But with a growing customer base, and interest in film photography on the rise, owner Matt Osborne finally felt it was time to expand.
Glass Key sells cameras, lenses, paper, chemistry, root beer (!), and of course, film. All kinds of film, in fact: color, black and white, 35mm, 120, 220, 4x5, 8x10, and instant (that's a Polaroid type film from Fuji & The Impossible Project).
The shop thrives by carrying film that some of the larger retailers don't, and has already attracted many local photographers who stop by to buy unique old film cameras and printing materials.
When he decided to expand the shop, Matt joined forces with photographers Gordon Szeto and Hung Tran. Together, they've taken over the space next door to Rooky Ricardo's at 442 Haight Street, formerly the home of sneaker shop SFCollection which closed earlier this year.
Inhabiting the space alongside Glass Key Photo is a beautiful photography gallery named 4x5 Gallery.
4x5 features about 25 bins filled with works by emerging photographers, most of whom are local. Photographers can rent these bins to showcase their photos. Meanwhile, the walls of 4x5 will feature temporary exhibits of photographs demonstrating a specific photographic style or technique. The exhibits are slated to change every 6 to 8 weeks.
Tucked away in the back of the store is a smaller gallery, also rentable by photographers, that will double as a camera museum. The museum will feature unique and antique cameras from all over the world contained inside a beautiful glass case.
The new and improved Glass Key Photo is up and running, and the grand opening of Gallery 4x5 will be in early 2013. Be sure to swing by 442 Haight Street and check out this new addition to the neighborhood!