Drama Camera Store (2016)


Code Monkey
Staff member
Title: Camera Store (2016)

Genre: Drama

Director: Scott Marshall Smith

Cast: John Larroquette, John Rhys-Davies, Cheryl Ladd, David James Elliott, Laura Silverman, Paul Ben-Victor

Release: 2016-12-09

Runtime: 99

Plot: On the eve of the transition from film to digital, the longtime denizens of a camera store confront their personal issues in this darkly comic story.
Camera Store (2016)

I'm getting ready to start my backlog viewing of genre stuff like Picard and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever but wanted to get this one in first. A good period drama to clear the mental viewing palate before switching over to sci-fi. :D

With John Larroquette and John Rhys-Davies starring, and appearances by Cheryl Ladd and David James Elliott, it is set in a mall camera store on Christmas Eve of 1994. The camera store setting is what first caught my attention because it ties in with my other big hobby, photography. [*cough* check out our Cameraderie Photography Forum 📸 *cough*]

If you like dramas set in mostly one location, add this one to your list. It's not a true 'bottle movie' because, while the majority of the movie takes place set in the titular camera store, there are a few brief scenes that take in the mall parking lot and the area of the mall in front of the camera store. I'd give it a recommendation for drama fans who understand that not all movies have happy ending.

Larroquette does a marvelous job as Ray LePine, somebody who has spent the last 20 years of his life running the camera store. Rhys-Davies is a salesman at the store who's been there for most of those 20 years. Together the two of them have seen many changes take place including the ups and mostly downs of LePine's life. The movie starts the morning of Christmas Eve as the mall is opening and takes place over the course of the day until the mall closes in the evening. The main story line centers around LePine dealing with how he has ended up at this point in life. It's a somber look at the life of somebody who 'rough times' in life seem to never end.

Finding this movie to watch was the hardest part. I can't find it on DVD or Blu-Ray. It's not on Netflix, Paramount+, or Amazon Prime. It's not on Disney+, Peacock, or Hulu. It's not on Showtime, Starz, FreeVee, or PlutoTV. I finally found it on ad-supported Tubi. It wasn't in 4K and it had ads but it was the only place I could find it.

The official web site for the movie, CameraStoreFilm.com, still shows it as being available on Netflix but, from what I can find, it hasn't been on Netflix for at least a few years. The web site and social media accounts all seem to have been abandoned and are now frozen in time. And that fate is actually kind of fitting considering the movie itself takes place at a moment in time that doesn't really exist anymore, the local mall full of energy and locally owned private camera stores.

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