The sad news: Sandrian Camera finally is bowing out after 87 years in Morristown.
The happy news: It will be reborn as the 70 South Gallery, and retain many of Sandrian’s staffers.
A “past customer and personal friend” is purchasing the photo shop, which will remain open during “a fantastic facelift” and continue offering high-end print services, owner Peter Sandrian Jr. told customers on Monday.
He did not disclose the buyer’s identity.
In addition to providing photo editing and printing services, including printing on canvas and metal, the new gallery will host photo-related events and display works by local professionals and amateurs, including area high school students.
The gallery is envisioned as a “central location where they can collaborate, admire and share their work in order to develop their craft; and to provide local residents with a high-touch photo experience,” Sandrian said.
Citing stiff online competition, the Sandrian family announced the closure last December. Its Clinton store was shuttered in February, and the family has been liquidating its inventory ever since in Morristown, where Sandrian’s father, an Armenian immigrant, opened a portrait studio in 1927.
The long goodbye has been emotional for family members, who forged bonds with customers spanning decades.
“I’m very pleased,” said Peter’s wife, Kathy Sandrian, who met her future husband while running a gift shop next to Sandrian Camera. Their children became familiar faces behind the counter, and Myles Sandrian said earlier this month that he may remain so.
Although changes in the photo industry eroded the family’s business, “I think the business will come back in other forms,” Kathy Sandrian said.
“I’m very happy that people can still get their photos printed. If you don’t print them, you will lose the joy of them,” she said.