Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

End of Days for Kodachrome

End of Days for Kodachrome
© Steve McCurry

As the last call for Kodachrome film processing drew near, Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kan., experienced one final flurry of film development requests. Film users from six continents — who had been storing and saving their prized Kodachrome film — sent in their last rolls before Dwayne's sold the old machine for scrap metal at the end of December.

During the final week, Dwayne's received more than 500 packages and in-store drop-offs, including a delivery from one Arkansas man who spent $15,798 to develop 1,580 rolls of film — most of which captured railway and train images taken throughout his lifetime — that he had been stockpiling. While film enthusiasts would have preferred to salvage the machine, Kodak stopped creating the blue dye chemicals to develop Kodachrome film at the beginning of 2010.

Renowned photographer Steve McCurry was selected by Kodak to capture one last roll of Kodachrome 36. McCurry, wanting to eliminate any chances of losing or damaging the film in the mail, flew down to Dwayne's in person to develop his final roll. National Geographic, which filmed McCurry's farewell journey, plans to air the photographer's Kodachrome documentary later this year.

The final roll to be developed, however, will be that of the shop owner, Dwayne Steinle, who used his final roll to capture pictures of his employees, the city of Parsons and the store, which for 75 years has developed countless vividly colored Kodachrome moments.