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"The Norwood plant is shutting down, and we will soon be winding down activities at the Waltham facility as well," said Kyle MacDonald, senior vice president of Polaroid's instant photography business segment. The closures, set for completion during this quarter, will eliminate about 150 jobs. In the late 1970s, Polaroid employed about 15,000 in Massachusetts.
The Norwood and Waltham plants make large-format films used by professional photographers and artists. Polaroid also makes professional-grade films in Mexico, and its consumer film packs come from a factory in the Netherlands. All these plants are slated for closure this year. Polaroid chief operating officer Tom Beaudoin said the company is interested in licensing its technology to an outside firm that could manufacture film for faithful Polaroid customers. If that doesn't happen, Polaroid users would have to find an alternative photo technology, as the company plans to make only enough film to last into next year.
Polaroid has already quietly halted production of instant cameras. "We stopped making commercial-type cameras about 18 to 24 months ago, and we stopped making consumer cameras about a year ago," said Beaudoin.