Film students in North Hollywood are learning how to make movies with the latest high-tech gear, but step inside Nancy Crawford's store, Camera Craft, to get a peek at tools from Tinsel Town's past.
She's sold photography gear and offered picture taking tips out of her business at Vineland Avenue and Camarillo Street long before the NoHo Arts District got its name.
While she does sell plenty of new equipment, seekers of old hand-crank projectors and big 35mm film magazines can still find them scattered around the shop.
Her father started the business in 1947 in Hollywood, while she took over the second location in North Hollywood when it opened in the late 1960s.
But after nearly 50 years in business, Crawford, who's in her seventies, says it's time to pack things up and enjoy retirement. She recently sold the store and is hosting a special sale through Camera Craft's closure in two weeks.
Crawford stayed mum when it came to her photographic hobbies, but she did mention what she'll most about her business. She enjoyed providing customers with instructions on how to use cameras, a perk most manufacturers don't offer anymore.
"They'd rather sell to people online," Crawford said. "What people are losing when you do that is the human contact and the instruction that was given free of charge by us and any other camera stores. You lose the camaraderie and learning about the equipment and handling it."
Crawford says the property was sold to Gina Pickens, wife of James Pickens Jr. who plays Dr. Richard Webber on ABC's hit show Grey's Anatomy.
Pickens plans on converting the camera store into a restaurant/bakery, Crawford said.
Crawford said she's been fortunate to do a lot of traveling while Camera Craft was in business and looks to more of it in her retirement.
"I've been doing what I've wanted for a long time," she said. "I've always traveled, i'm gonna keep on doing it."
Patch will keep you updated on the progress of the new business slated to replace Camera Craft.