I haven’t posted in a while, so I thought I would repost this item from before the blog reboot. It’s been edited a bit to make more sense in this context.
While most people above a certain age know how Kodak once dominated the film photography world, few are aware of the fact that the company operated Kodak-branded retail stores all over the world for many years.
Featuring a wide array of Eastman Kodak cameras, films and accessories, these often opulent establishments were something like their era’s version of the Apple Store.
I stumbled upon this Art Deco beauty while roaming around downtown St. Louis early one Sunday morning. Judging by the style of the architecture and logo, it dates from the 1920s or ’30s, but seemed to have held up remarkably well. The interior looked as if it had been vacated the previous day.
And although the photographic giant that was Kodak no longer exists, this building lives on in restored splendor as the Thaxton Speakeasy, an ‘underground lounge’ and event space. The gorgeous cobalt backlit letters are gone from the facade, but the “EKC” logo remains, as does much of the original interior woodwork and art.