Downtown camera shop closing after more than 90 years

Sunny Schick Camera Shop will close its doors in July after more than 90 years of business.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Over 90 years Sunny Schick Camera Shop has seen nearly all major developments in photography. The store has sat at Washington Boulevard and Ewing Street Downtown for decades. It’s unlikely you’ve driven through Downtown without seeing it.

Through decades of an ever changing photography world, the downtown camera shop survived, and owner Bill Christie is closing it on his terms.

“I am at an age where I’m ready to have some relaxation, some leisure time,” Christie said.

For most of the last 37 years, Christie hasn’t been at home or taking vacation, he’s been at Sunny Schick Camera Shop.

“So I thought it was a good time to wrap it up and take it easy for a while,” Christie said.

Christie will close the business at the end of July. Sunny Schick opened the shop in the 1920s and died soon after. It went through a few owners before Christie’s dad took over then Christie in 1980. But that famous name stuck.

“Dr. Schick, who was Sunny’s father, wanted the business to carry on as a memorial to Sunny,” Christie said. “So, it was very deliberate the name stuck.”

Since the time of Sunny, we’ve seen the switch to digital photography, an emphasis on videography and retail move to the online platform.

“[Online retail] has had a huge huge impact on not just my business but every retail business,” Christie said.

But Sunny Schick’s camera shop weathered all the storms. Now Christie feels happy he’s gotten to make the decision to close when he wants to. It’s a luxury small businesses don’t always get. He also has the support of his employees, who are happy to see him finally get some time to himself.

Besides the obvious, Christie’s retirement plans are up in the air.

“I’m an amateur photographer,” Christie said. “I do it for the love. So I’ll keep doing that.”

The store is closed Tuesday and Wednesday to get ready for the retirement sale starting Thursday. It will last until the end of the July. However, if all the inventory goes before then, Christie will shut the store down early.

Employees are working out pricing now, but Christie says everything will be discounted.