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Kodachrome Taken Away

KodaChrome 64 KodaChrome 64

The life of the world's oldest commercially successful color film has come to an end. After 74 years on the market, the Eastman Kodak Co. is retiring Kodachrome from the shelves.

The film was widely used in the 1950s and '60s to capture iconic images such as President Kennedy's assassination, Queen Elizabeth II's coronation and photojournalist Steve McCurry's portrait of an Afghan refugee girl.

Kodak, which suffered a net loss of $353 million in the first quarter of this year, has said that it is ending Kodachrome production because of waning film use. Kodak currently receives nearly 70 percent of its revenue from digital business, and Kodachrome accounted for less than 1 percent of the remaining film sales.

In homage to the film, Kodak has given McCurry several rolls of Kodachrome from the last production line. McCurry, who has himself switched to digital photography, is planning to take his final Kodachrome pictures this fall during his shooting tour in Europe, Asia and the United States. The George Eastman House museum in Rochester, N.Y., has agreed to display McCurry's images next year.

Kansas-based Dwayne's Photo, the only lab that still processes Kodachrome, has agreed to process the film through 2010.