The first time I visited Chicago was in August, 1975. Barbara and I were newlyweds and we were checking things out in anticipation of our move here a few months later. I had an older camera that I wanted to trade for a Luna Pro light meter. Barb’s brother John suggested that I check out Central Camera. I loved that place from the moment I saw that fantastic facade and experienced the cramped interior where new and used cameras and lenses filled glass cases along the aisle and boxes for Nikons, Canons, Hasselblads and Leicas were piled to the rafters along the walls.
I got that Luna Pro all those years ago. They pinned my ears back pretty good on that deal, but I left happy — the first of many visits. Camera stores have a special place among my favorite places. So few of them have survived the transition to digital photography.
Central Camera was ransacked and set on fire on May 30th. The fourth picture is a screen grab from an interview with Don Flesch, Central’s third generation owner, that aired live on Channel 2 that night. https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/05/31/owner-vows-to-rebuild-after-historic-central-camera-goes-up-in-flames/#.XtM-cq2ipy8.twitter
Here’s a link to a gofundme page to support the re-opening of Central Camera: https://www.gofundme.com/f/central-camera-company-rebuild