Photography chain Calumet Photographic files for bankruptcy protection, plans to shut stores

Calumet Photographic, a longstanding photography retailer based in Chicago, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and plans to close its U.S. stores.

The company said on its Facebook page Thursday that after 75 years of business, it is closing all its U.S. stores immediately. Its European stores will remain open. An update later in the day said the company is exploring options to reopen select sites in the U.S.

A representative for Calumet could not be reached immediately for comment.

Calumet’s bankruptcy filing and unexpected closures has shocked and angered some of its fans. A posting on its Facebook page said the company did not inform employees and some showed up at work only to find out it had closed.

Naomi Epstein, a portrait and event photographer in Chicago, dropped her camera off there for repair last week and received no indication that it would be closing. She is frustrated that she will have to track down her equipment but is also saddened by the closure of the popular store, which she said she went to weekly for rentals or classes.

“It is sad because it was just a great facility, great people running it as well,” she said.

According to its bankruptcy filing from Wednesday, the company has assets ranging from $50 million to $100 million and liabilities in the $10 million to $50 million range.