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A few decades ago, back when film cameras were much more common, getting your pictures developed was as simple as popping into a Walmart store, dropping off your film or disposable camera at the Photo Center, and coming back in an hour or two to pick it up.
Hardly anyone shoots on film these days, but many still do. Even more people use disposable cameras. And those people are having a harder and harder time finding places to take it.
Can you get film and disposable cameras developed at Walmart?
What are Film Developing Services?
Film development refers to the process of exposing a photographic film to chemicals, heat, and light in order to produce a positive image. The image is chemically developed in order to enhance the film’s contrast and produce the final image. People can then use photo printing services to get their film out and processed into the form of a photo.
These days, many people have taken up the hobby of photography. In the same vein, much of these people favor disposable cameras from brands such as Kodak. These single-use cameras are favored due to the unique effect that they produce in the final result. A particularly old film, for example, can be developed to produce a ghostly image of the person that the camera captured.
Disposable cameras are usually develop in the 35mm type of film. 35mm film refers to the width of the film itself. The standard format film this has is 35mm.
Does Walmart Still Develop Film And Disposable Cameras?
If you are an avid disposable camera photographer, you may be wondering if Walmart still develops film and disposable cameras. The answer is yes, but you have to find a Walmart that does. In fact, they develop film prints from both regular cameras and disposable cameras.
Visit any Walmart store during business days, and you’ll find the good old Photo Center, just like back in the day. Fill in an order form and get your developed film. The difference is that now, this department is mostly used to print out digital photos that customers take on their smartphones.
In addition to providing same-day digital printout services, Walmart Photo Centers contain unmanned kiosks where shoppers can go to drop off disposable cameras for development.
These Walmart photo labs for disposable camera developing is also called The Darkroom, which is an appropriate name. It’s a dark place where customers’ films will be processed.
While Walmart Photo Centers have been around for a long time, it is surprising that the company has not integrated this service into its main stores. Some Walmart stores have dedicated labs where customers can develop their film, but the general store locations aren’t required to have them.
Whether you need single prints or double prints, color film or black and white film, The Darkroom at Walmart can develop your old film with zero fuss at all.
In order to develop film, you need to get it to a store that can process it. If you do not want to go out of your way and pay for the shipping and handling charges, you can simply get your film developed at your local Walmart.
Walmart Photo Centers are conveniently located near you, making it easy for you to get your film developed. The Walmart Photo Center is located in nearly every Walmart store in the United States and is easily accessible through their website.
Again, though, you’d need to ensure your local Walmart actually has a Darkroom available. Not every Walmart has a photo lab. If you’re lucky, you may find one.
You can find the nearest Walmart Photo Center through various different methods. The easiest way is by using the Walmart Photo Center store locator. As a matter of fact, the Walmart Locator can be used to find locations of various other services as well.
Alternatively, however, you can always use more traditional GPS finders. This includes simply searching up “Walmart Photo Center near me“ on Google, or going straight to Google Maps. You may also be able to find more information on review-based sites like Yelp.
How Do I Get Film Developed at Walmart?
If you’re thinking about taking a roll of film to your local Walmart Supercenter to have it developed, you’ll be pleased to know that the process is straightforward.
Once you’ve located your store’s Photo Center, all you have to do is place your freshly-shot roll of film in one of the provided film processing envelopes, seal it up, and stick it in the dropbox labeled, “Film Development & Print.” It’s that easy!
How Much Does it Cost to Get Film Developed at Walmart?
Currently, Walmart charges $7.96 to develop a 12-exposure roll of film. It’s $9.96 and $10.96 for a 24- or 27-exposure roll, respectively, while a 36-exposure roll will cost you a whopping $13.96.
For this price, you’ll get not only a stack of high-quality 4×6 prints but also a CD containing high-resolution digital scans of your photos. You can even request an extra set of prints for only $2 more.
This kind of basement-level bargain makes Walmart one of the most affordable retail film developers in the game (though there aren’t many remaining).
How Long Does It Take to Get Film Developed at Walmart?
Customers who turn to Walmart’s photo lab for their photo development needs report that, on average, it takes about one to two weeks to get their images back.
Walmart doesn’t actually process the film themselves—instead, they send it off to a third-party developer, who exposes it, makes prints, and sends them back. This means that you can expect a significantly longer turnaround time than you would get if someone were doing the developing right there in the store.
In some cases, it may take as long as three weeks for your photos to be returned to you. However, you’re more likely to receive your images within the standard one-to-two-week timeframe.
Note: Walmart no longer returns negatives, so be aware that you won’t get your original film back if you avail yourself of their services. If you want to hold onto your negatives, you’ll be better off finding another place to develop them. Just be prepared to pay slightly more.
Will Walmart Develop an Old Film?
Do you have a roll of film that you took with your first-ever disposable camera? It may not be the most expensive roll of film you’ve ever shot, but it could still be valuable.
Old films may start to deteriorate over time, especially if they’ve been exposed to harsh light or conditions. However, some may prefer this, since the effect of deterioration can create a unique film print. It may be worth the cost to have them developed by a professional lab, even if it’s only for a few bucks.
So, you may wonder if Walmart offers such a service. Well, you’re in luck! Walmart offers some of the cheapest film developing service in the nation. Just bring your old film to any Walmart store and have it developed. While there is a cost for developing your film, it’s quite low compared to other labs.
The only thing you need to consider is that Walmart is not required to return your negatives unless you explicitly request them via a formal form. If this is a big enough deal for you, then you may be better off choosing other methods.
Where Else Can You Develop Disposable Cameras Films?
There are many places that will develop disposable cameras and film. You can also find an online source that will print your photos. If you’re really picky about your film development, you can even do it yourself! Of course, DIY-ing your film development will come with some risks.
Here are some other printing services and film development services that you can find out there today if you feel like Walmart isn’t the right choice:
1. Walgreens Photo
The first thing you should know about Walgreens is that it’s the largest drugstore chain in the United States. It offers many services related to health, wellness, and beauty. So you may be surprised that they also offer photo printing and film developing services! In fact, they have a dedicated Walgreens Photo Center.
One thing to note is that their film development services are not in-house. What that means is that the developing doesn’t actually happen in the photo centers. Instead, they will send your film to Fujifilm. Fuji will then process the film and send it back to you.
They are available for developing disposable cameras, and they have a shorter average waiting time than Walmart. However, as is the case with Walmart, Walgreens Photo will not return your negatives. Furthermore, they don’t have as much flexibility in terms of the number of exposures; unlike Walmart, they don’t have an option for film roll exposures of 12. They are also relatively pricier than Walmart.
Costco is known for its large selection of products and prices. Unfortunately, they discontinued their film developing services in 2020 in the wake of the pandemic. This is unfortunate, since they were one of the cheapest places to get your film developed. However, there are other ways to get your film developed.
Nowadays, they have digital photo printing services, but not film developing services. These printing services can be found and done at their online website; specifically at costco.com. Unfortunately while they used to have physical photo centers, these have all been closed down. So, if you want to make use of their printing services, you’re restricted to online means.
Target has also had their film developing services discontinued. This also happened likely due to revenue losses since the pandemic era. However, it is not completely gone. They can still offer you digital photo printing services, but they don’t have any in-house film developing services.
So, you may be able to consider Target as an option if all you need is to print out your photos. Otherwise, though, you may be better off with Walmart or other methods.
4. CVS Photo
If you’re looking for a place to get your film developed and don’t mind spending a little more, CVS Photo may be the place for you. It is the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States. So it’s not surprising that they offer photo printing services and film developing services.
Aside from having an option to develop 35mm film, they also accept films of all numbers of exposures that they are capable off. These include both black and white and full-color films. They will also give you scans burned into CDs on top of the finished prints.
Similar to Walgreens, their services will take a waiting period of about seven to ten days on average. This is fairly quicker than Walmart, which usually take two weeks at least. However, as a result their prices are just a bit steeper than Walmart. So, they’re best fitting for people who have little patience and more money to burn.
Conclusion – Does Walmart Develop Film?
In short, yep. Walmart still develops film, but it takes a bit longer than it used to.
With that being said, a couple of weeks is not such a long time to wait for keepsake-worthy physical prints of your loved ones, your recent dream vacation, or that spectacular sunset you want to look back on later.
Still, if you feel like Walmart’s Darkrooms may not be the right fit for you, you can always try out other alternatives, such as processing your film at a professional lab. You can try some of the other options listed above. As a general rule of thumb, you can rely on Costco and Target if all you need is photo printing and you’re too lazy to go to a physical photo center. If you don’t mind paying more for a shorter waiting period, choose CVS Photo or Walgreens Photo.
You may also want to consider developing your film yourself, though this will be difficult and costly if you don’t have a darkroom and the necessary tools. Now, you’re ready to develop your latest film rolls!