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Specialty photo store Pipkin Cameras to close June 30

Consumers' preference for digital photography has killed business, owner says.

BY JENNIFER PALMER Modified: June 12, 2010 at 2:34 am •  Published: June 12, 2010

One of Oklahoma City's few remaining mom-and-pop photography stores, Pipkin Cameras and Imaging will pull the shutters June 30, closing the business after 63 years.

Owner Peggy Pipkin Grace, daughter of the business' founders, said it has been too difficult for the Classen Boulevard icon to compete with online and major national retailers.

Over the years, the business has repaired 500,000 cameras. But the newer digital cameras are often replaced rather than repaired.

Also, as photography trended to digital, people started printing their photos less. Both trends hurt business.

"We kind of felt like a dinosaur in the middle of the road for a long time,” Grace said.

Pipkin Cameras was founded by Bud (M.L.) and Edwina Pipkin in 1947. The business had several locations over the years but has been in its current location at 3111 N Classen Blvd. for four decades.

The store's remaining inventory is discounted in preparation for the business' closure. Shelves are still stocked with camera relics, some as old as the 1900s, and accessories from the not-so-distant past — such as flash cubes.

Modern digital accessories such as camera bags, batteries and flash cards are also available.

Related Map

Enlarge Map 3111 N Classen Blvd.

• Location:
Pipkin Cameras 3111 N Classen Blvd.

• Hours:
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday,

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Closing June 30.

Also ...
Epperson meets challenges

Epperson Photo-Video, at 3110 N May Ave., is one of the last independent photo stores in Oklahoma City.

Owner Cliff Epperson said surviving the industry's shift to digital has been a challenge.

The store's consistent advertising and specialty services, such as canvas or extra large prints, have continued to get customers in the door.

"We're still surviving and making a profit. But we're doing 80 percent of what we used to do in our best years,” he said.

Epperson actually worked for Pipkin Cameras in 1963. That job convinced him to go into the photo business and open his own store in 1972, he said.


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