BENNINGTON -- Three months after closing its doors, CTC/Vermont Color Photo will reopen under new ownership and at a new location.
As of June 27, the photo lab is now located at 736 Main Street, at the same location as Inkspot Press. "As commercial printers, we have long been involved in the reproduction of images on paper," said Michael Carver, owner of Inkspot Press and now CTC/VT Color. "Soon after the close of CTC we began to get inquiries about film developing and photographic prints and enlargements. Suddenly, there was no source for these services locally."
Bruce Laumeister, who had owned CTC for 37 of the business’s 45 years, decided to close the store in March. "It was a tough decision to make," Laumeister said to the Banner at the time, "We’re in the business of putting color on paper, and nobody’s doing that anymore." He said that, in its final months of existance, the store was costing him $5,000 a month to keep open.
Inkspot Press was founded in Bennington in 1981, and opened a Manchester location in 1989. The Bennington location features a 12,000 square foot production facility, said Carver, who noted that office space needed to be moved around to make room for a dedicated space for the CTC equipment. The customer service area will serve both businesses, he said, and will have self-service photo kiosks.
Carver also announced that the re-opened photo lab would rehire Wayne McClure, who worked as the photo technician at the original CTC until its closing. Laumeister described McClure as an "excellent technician," and said that he had hoped to help him find another job in the field before the store closed.
"We plan to maintain both business names and separate websites for each," said Carver, "Because each business produces a slightly different product for a slightly different overall customer base. But, physically, they will share the same space. And we expect there will be an overlap of customers. Vermont Color’s customers are primarily individuals, and Inkspot Press’s customers are primarily businesses, but businesses have photography needs and individuals also order printing."
The new photo lab has the capability to create prints not only from film and digital cameras, but from cell phones, tablets, and other digital devices, said Carver. The business will continue to offer film processing, archival printing on photo paper, film and print scanning, oversized prints, posters, and banners. VT Color will also continue its "Lifetime Camera" offer, in which the customer receives a single-use film camera. When the customer has filled up that camera they return to the store, pay the normal price to have the film processed, and receive a new single-use camera for free.
"Although the digital revolution has reduced the amount of film shot, we see a continuing use of film and a resurgence in it as an artistic medium," said Carver, "There is also a huge and growing demand for digital photo printing and media conversion and we see this as a natural compliment to our traditional printing services."
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB