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Camera Craft Shuttering After Nearly 50 Years in NoHo

Owner Nancy Crawford sells the business after deciding to retire.

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.

Bob Peppermuller February 21, 2013 at 08:49 PM
We have been here as long as she has. We are sorry to see another part of North Hollywood history go. We wish her the best in retirement. I hope the tree outside of Camara Craft on Camarillo is saved. It is over 80 years old. I attached then and now pictures of that intersection. Enjoy.
Laura February 21, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Great pictures! Thanks Bob.
Rooty February 21, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I don't see any pics, but I agree! I walk by that tree all the time. I had no idea it's been there for 80 years.
Bob Peppermuller February 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM
I forgot to add that I did talk to Nancy about that 1928 photo and gave her a copy.. We couldn't come up with any more info about her place and the area surrounding it however. She was surprised about that tree. I have more old pictures of that intersection but none showing the Camera Craft building. Rooty: click on the "Photos (7)" under the main photo.
george February 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Nothing lasts forever, but I will miss seeing them when I drive by, bakery's are great too. It's sad though that we won't have this personalized service anymore, still one must live their life.

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