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Photobooth For Sale + The Rest of the Story

Remember when I bought a vintage photobooth? You can read about the progress here and here. We finally finished the booths and they are working and fully restored so I thought I would share the last part of the story.


When we were buying the photobooth I realized it was going to be expensive to ship it back to San Francisco (we rented a truck and paid a friend to drive it.) I could already see the mounting costs for my “toy” and I realized if I was already paying for one booth it wouldn’t really be much more expensive to buy two, bring them back to San Francisco and sell one to pay for the first. It seemed like a brilliant idea! If things had gone smoothly I probably would have patted myself on the back but everything didn’t necessarily go as planned. I thought the booths would take a couple afternoons of cleaning with an expert to get them functional. It turns out finding an “expert” was a long drawn out process that was both difficult and expensive. I mean, I am so happy we have our booths and it’s been a great journey that I don’t regret now that it is over. But if I had known in advance the time and money this would take me to get a working photobooth I would have just found and bought one outright at market prices. The “deal” I thought I got wasn’t actually that great after you add up all the other costs. After Anthony at A&A Studios helped us fix the booths we wanted to make them pretty. (unpaid endorsement here: if you need a booth I would recommend going through Anthony. He is a great guy and was fantastic to work with.)

The booths were not in very great shape aesthetically. They had lived in Bars and Kmarts for several decades and had stickers and damages to prove it. There were holes everywhere, the floors were falling apart, and the signage inside was “updated” in the 80’s sometime. I asked a friend to come help me remove all the stickers and scrub down the surfaces. We removed the flooring and installed new checkered floors. We sewed new curtains and filled in holes and touched up paint. I contacted Caitlyn Galloway who is a sign painter here in San Francisco, about helping me with some signs for the booths. Sign-painting isn’t cheap but we were able to simplify the designs and agree on a price we were both happy with. I love her work so I just told her that “I trusted her” and let her do her thing. I was thrilled with the results and so happy we splurged on it instead of trying to make our own.

We finally installed the signage and moved the photobooth over to my new studio last week. I’m so so so happy it’s done and it has been really so much fun to have them around. They take a few hours to heat up (like a jacuzzi!) so when we turn it on we call all our friends to tell them to stop by. It’s so fun. Paul has gotten pretty good at troubleshooting when the booths are acting up and he maintains the chemicals and switches out the film when it runs low. We are going to keep one of the booths at the Oh Happy Day offices and we just put the other booth up for sale here.

  1. Traci

    January 2, 2014

    Very fun! I wish I had a place to put such a thing.

  2. Lacey Loo

    January 2, 2014

    It is my dream to own a vintage photo booth! I wish i had the funds…. they are so magical!

  3. rox

    January 2, 2014

    ah-may-zzinnng. if I had a stack of cash lying around I would totally buy it!

  4. Heather

    January 2, 2014

    The booth looks great — I especially love the hand-painted signage. But I’m confused! The original post showed a booth with rounded ends and some hand-painting you loved, but that doesn’t seem to be this one. The booth in this post also appears to be the one that’s for sale on Craigslist. Does the one you kept look identical now?

  5. zhi / curiouszhi

    January 2, 2014

    Oh wow. I love the typography in the signage of the photo booth. It looks gorgeous. If I lived in the US AND had extra cash I would love to purchase this, but alas, I can only admire your handiwork for now..

  6. mikepsf

    January 2, 2014

    I’m officially inspired to get my photobooth out of storage, assess it’s condition, and hopefully add one more photobooth to San Francisco! Thank you!

  7. Jessica @

    January 2, 2014

    What a wonderful booth. And thanks for sharing the sign painter’s information!

  8. Julia A

    January 2, 2014

    Since I live in the SF Bay Area, I’m just hoping that I know whoever ends up buying it so I can be invited over for impromptu photo booth sessions

  9. Adrienne

    January 2, 2014

    SO cool, I wish I had the space and $$ for such a wonderful toy! Have you considered renting it out for parties?

  10. Vanessa D.

    January 2, 2014

    My first thought when I saw the awesome picture was this would be really cool to rent out for weddings.

  11. Brandyn | Southern Distinctions

    January 2, 2014

    How cool! Now I want my own photo booth. My friends and I have a blast goofing around the ones at local charity events or weddings. I would plaster a wall with all the fabulous photo booth moments! Glad you stuck with it. It was well worth it!!

  12. Leigh-Ann

    January 2, 2014

    Loved reading about your PB journey 🙂

  13. Vera

    January 3, 2014

    It looks absolutely stunning! I totally understand the vintage ‘machine’ obsession, since I have one too. I dream about owning a vintage wurlitzer one day. Sometimes I just feel like I was born in the wrong era (and on the wrong continent!).

  14. meg

    January 3, 2014

  15. Mary

    January 5, 2014

    I am actually interested in your second booth! But the Craigslist link didn’t work.

  16. Photo booth fresno

    January 10, 2014

    I really liked this post. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece of work with us.

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