SAN FRANCISCO – As of January 1 2009 PHOTO EPICENTER will be changing its format from an hourly based darkroom rental facility to a membership based darkroom rental facility.

Members will pay a monthly fee ranging from $150 – $350 depending on their own space requirements and darkroom usage. Offices and workspace and storage for supplies will be available for members.

Members will have full access to the entire facility. That includes b/w darkrooms, color darkrooms, wireless internet, scanners, printers, microwave, fridge, etc. The PHOTO EPICENTER will be available to members 24/7*. And to make sure you have your darkroom available we are limiting the number of members. At this time we are taking 13 members and space is already filling up. Once all spots are reserved, we will have a wait list for following months. Become a member TODAY!

Candidates will be screened, must have some darkroom experience, be required to sign a contract, and depending on space agreement will have to pay a deposit. Multiple month discounts will be available.

*24/7 availability depends on the number of members signed up. Costs must be covered for us to print around the clock.

**If you are a current customer and have purchased a block of hours, you have the next 30 days to use up those hours. Otherwise they will expire.

Contact us to reserve your membership today:


16 responses to “MEMBERS ONLY”

  1. Bill Avatar

    Well it had to happen sooner or later. Greedy pricks.

  2. Bob Avatar

    The greed of gain has no time or limit to its capaciousness. Its one object is to produce and consume. It has pity neither for beautiful nature nor for living human beings. It is ruthlessly ready without a moment’s hesitation to crush beauty and life out of them, molding them into money

  3. rzz Avatar

    wow. thats really what you think? i dont like explaining shit but if people actually think this way about the lab then maybe i should say something. actually, you probably never even been to the lab, because if you have you would understand the situation. you would know that the whole place is run by volunteers and interns all who have other jobs and other forms of income and that all the hard work and the time that people put into the place would mean nothing if rents not paid. and if youve been there youd know that only a few customers a month isnt going to cover the bills.

    so why not ask the die hard customers and people who hang out here and people who care about the lab help keep the place open by sharing some of the responsiblity? in return getting more for their money by having more hours to print, and more room to operate in.

    most darkrooms across the country have already switched to this format. bands pay for practice space. painters pay for studio space. not really diffrent than that, but you think its greedy because ??? think about it. weve been out of pocket for 2 years in a row and for once we’re asking for help and now we’re greedy? tell that to wells fargo. who the fuck cares what we fucking do anyways, your lame..

  4. rzz Avatar

    ps. happy new years!

  5. Bob Avatar

    $150 a month? that’s just insane. Your previous prices, to me, are what really separated you guys from the rest. You’re right, I don’t live in the bay area but I plan to move there. I was totally excited about heading over there myself and getting busy. And don’t get my wrong, I’m totally feeling the spirit of the place and I can appreciate the financial situation the place is in. But that just tells me you guys haven’t done a very good job of getting the word out, attracting more customers. I just don’t see how sticking it to the “few customers a month” who use the place is a good idea. I mean come on, get creative! Put a donate button on the site, put up some cheap advertising, flyers, internet boards whatever. Switching to a membership format really isn’t even my main gripe. It’s the prices really and to a lesser extent the complete lack of choice, all or nothing deal. A guy who just wants to print some BW negs is fucked.

    I think by charging $150 and up you know the hardcore loyal customers won’t go anywhere and the bills will be payed. Then again you’re not going to get many new customers by just aligning yourself with all the rest.

    Another thing, it’s kind of funny you mention being out of pocket for 2 years. I think you should strongly consider why you guys started the place from the beginning and why things were priced the way they were. Seems like you’re forgetting about the customer’s bottom line. $150 a month, spaced over a year — pretty steep, more than enough to buy their own equipment.

    I don’t want to see the place close, it seems like a great environment to get some work done. So I hope you guys will consider rethinking your business model a bit and making it more flexible.

    ps. sorry for being a dick

  6. Richard Avatar

    man thats lame, why you guys gotta all of a sudden go corporate and do us like that.
    i want my money back.

  7. rzz Avatar

    again wow. you guys are dipshits. corporate? youve never been to the lab or spent money there. so you cant say anything. and the other guy, again you want to argue something you dont have any idea about. you dont know how it started, what we started with, what weve done in the past 2 years. you dont know anything about photo epicenter, hamburger eyes, san francisco photo community, photo service industry, economy, so im not gonna talk biz anymore with you. you arent seeing how retarded insulting this is to the entire staff and their work.

    but your biggest gripe is the price? whats your frame of reference? you have none which is why you dont know what the fuck your talking about. if we kept the lab hourly, and you paid $150 you would get 15 hours of printing. the average customer would use that up in 2 or 3 sessions. if you are just dicking around with random negs at random times. then yes please setup in your garage, pay the cheap lab fee at city college, sneak into art institute, there are so many resources and places to print for that. there are even group darkrooms for $7/hr or cheaper. the mission cultural center has a fucking free darkroom. people are donating enlargers all day every day. you dont know what the fuck your talking about. you dont know what we have. you will never setup a 42″ kreonite ra4 processor in your house. you will never have an ilford multidiffusion head with infrared technology. we have over 2000 sq feet. people come here to do their work and be productive and get it done. unless you have something to compare something to, you have no argument.

    on the other side of things, in sf the good darkroom rentals have dwindled down to 2 facilities. and we have pretty much the exact same prices. plus or minus some seasonal discounts and different services. again, what the fuck is your price reference?

    you dont know what flexible is because you dont have any frame of reference. you just read the $150 as too much money. but you dont know what your buying. you wont find a cheaper monthly than that. and this IS a plan to attract new customers. but you wont see it unless youve been around the sf photo community.

    if you are obsessed with photography, then our place is for you. if you are curious about photography and just starting out, our place is still for you and you will be surrounded by pros to learn from. if money is an issue, do some research, look around, do your homework, ask somebody who knows, instead of complaining and running your mouth..

  8. LT Avatar

    You gotta do what you gotta do.
    Paying rent in the Bay area isn’t cheap and for those of you not happy about it you can start your own labs and do your own development work in your house. They have put tutorials on the site to show you how.
    Perhaps after this gels a little bit they can offer something at a lower cost with less access.
    I think they are doing what they can to keep the facility open.

  9. Bob Avatar

    You’re not really telling me anything I don’t know and when you’re not putting words in my mouth you’re just being defensive and rationalizing. But I’ll stop here since you don’t care enough see the point.

  10. rzz Avatar


  11. dmtz Avatar

    its too bad some think we’re being greedy. i feel we’re totes the opposite. i feel the epicenter has provided a space for the art/photo community in sf. sf has always been a diy city, which i believe it strives in. the photo epicenter has been a creative hub for the city… we decided to take on color arts when they couldnt keep afloat. and just like any good business, you have to evolve and change with the times. having change our business plan is part of the plan. you cannot deny change.

    making the darkroom membership based, makes us more unique and provides die hard darkroom enthusiasts an even better enviroment. there are maybe 2 solid communal darkrooms in the san francisco city that are good at what they do, ive printed at all of them. i think what we provide is something different. its the photo community we support, and its not free. in fact, we were going to make this a membership based darkroom in the beginning.

    we’ve built our name up through integrity not sitting on someones nuts. everything we’ve done is from our own hands. there has been no handouts. there has been no freebies. all diy. there are great people who volunteer and commit theyre own free time who dont GET PAID at all to help this thing floating. i feel fortunate.

    so i cannot let someone call us greedy, its insulting. we’ve worked hard to let something like this go. we’re trying to make this work.

    so i dont think this place is a place for you then…

    and a big mahalo nui loa to all of our supporters out there! there is much more to come out of the burgerworld empire. we will be doing this shit till we die!

  12. TheflopppyyyyBoxxerr.. Avatar

    people who take things on a negative route and are usually the one not producing anything. If you really knew about shit….you would know that the people running hamburger eyes are trying their best to keep open a creative environment in a city where if you are not selling Crepes to yuppies your pretty much sinking…It’s not an easy time for small business’s and its not an easy city to make money in. I applaud their efforts.
    Like they say….Haters fuck off….

  13. pizza wizard Avatar
    pizza wizard

    wowie. OK. This is coming from some actually renting space. I pay 150 to store stuff and basically have my own private darkroom / studio with 24 hr access. Where else are you gonna find that.

    To that muthafucka talking shit. Yes Bob, you. You really have no idea. About photography or running a dark room. Maybe it should be kept open to public so pricks like you can come once a year to print a contact sheet.

    And the greed thing. Oh man. If you think running a traditional b/w room has a high profit margin get fucking real. Everyone involved has been working there ass off and feeling the pinch to keep it open to the public for this long.

  14. sugey Avatar

    hamburger eyes and photo epicenter doesn’t owe anybody shit. if you want it to be run different, start something yourself and run it your way.

  15. isaac Avatar

    i’ve been printing at 26 Lilac since before it was run by the Burger. it was never that busy, every time i went they were stoked to see a new face. the cold hard fact is that fewer and fewer folks are printing, in order to continue the art and science of it and provide a space for it costs money. the people who have poured their hearts into this place don’t look at it as a thing to make money off of. they want it to stay alive and thrive. if it takes them going to a “club” type membership, then so be it. i can’t afford to join for more than 1 month here and there, but i know my $ will go to buying chemicals, copy paper, pay the PG&E, or a couple beers for whom ever is working. support the medium, support the Burger. stick a duck up your ass, haters.