In the East Bay, Looking Glass is synonymous with "camera store" – not only has the shop been open for more than four decades, but it's really the last of its kind in the region. While the discerning technophile can find the latest digital cameras, iPhone accessories and other shiny gewgaws, Looking Glass is most notable for its stubborn refusal to abandon its roots: film developing and darkroom printing. The shelves are kept well-stocked with film, photo paper, developing chemicals and even film cameras, but what really makes the nut are the rental darkrooms, where customers can pay a modest hourly fee to develop and print their own work. In fact, Looking Glass' new location on Ashby boasts expanded darkroom services, something unheard of in a time when the closest that many of us get to developing film is using filters on Instagram.
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