Best Places to Develop Film in Charlotte

Cover Photo: Untitled by Austin Kerr, ( CC BY-ND 2.0 ), Taken on a Pentax K1000

Whether you’re shooting your first roll of film or your 500th, there’s no denying that it’s gotten pretty tough to find a good spot for film developing. 

While Charlotte may be one of the fastest growing cities in the country, there is a very limited number of places to develop disposable cameras or film. 

We’ve found everywhere you can develop film in Charlotte, including which types of film are accepted at each location and a map. Check it out below!

Film photo of trees with fall leaves
Triple Fall by GR, Taken on Fujicolor 200 film on a Canon Rebel

Cardinal Camera

Location: 3351 Pineville-Matthews Rd #100, Charlotte, NC 28226, United States

Established in 1969 by an early pioneer of photography, Cardinal Camera is a full service photo shop that offers film developing in Charlotte. 

Cardinal accepts every type of modern film; 35mm, 120, and large format are all processed whether color, black and white, or E-6. 

You could easily call this a photo “superstore” with their huge inventory, gear rentals, classes, and photo lab that handles scanning and printing, on top of developing film. Cardinal has four other locations across North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

For more information, you should check out Cardinal Camera.

Biggs Camera

Location: 805 S Kings Dr, Charlotte, NC 28204

It’s interesting that the only two places to develop film in Charlotte are both over 50 years old. Think about how many rolls of film have been processed in those same two buildings. 

Established a full decade before Cardinal Camera opened their doors, Biggs Camera is another great spot for film developing in Charlotte. 

Bigg’s can develop 35mm and 120 medium format film, as long as it is C-41 color or black and white. We love the quick turnaround, usually 72 hours. 

This is also a full-service store, offering photo lab services, gear and accessories, fresh film for sale, and a good selection of used film cameras and lenses on their website. 

If you’re interested in finding out more, head to Biggs Camera.

Film photo of a cabin in North Carolina
Edit -1-11 by Dane, ( CC BY 2.0 ), Taken on Fujicolor C200 film on a Minolta XG-1

The Light Factory

Location: 1817 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205, United States

If you find yourself gravitating towards black and white film most of the time, it might be worth learning how to develop your own film. It’s not as hard as you might think!

The Light Factory is a cool nonprofit with a whole list of photography-related offerings, including a black and white darkroom available for rental. 

To use the facilities, you must have an active membership and pay an hourly fee. Chemistry for both developing and printing is included. 

While this isn’t somewhere that will develop your film for you, it may be worth checking out if you’ve ever found yourself curious about the darkroom. 

Find out more about the darkroom and their other offerings at The Light Factory

Map of Where to Develop Film in Charlotte

Other Options

With so few places to develop film in Charlotte, you probably want to know all of your options. While definitely at the bottom of our list, there are some drugstore chains that still accept film.

Target, Sam’s Club and Costco have all stopped accepting film in the last few years, making this option not quite as convenient as it was a decade ago. You can still get your film developed at most CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart locations. 

The benefits of going this route are the cost, as well as the accessibility. If you live a ways outside the city, it’s a lot more likely that you have a Walmart nearby than a photo lab. 

While the positives to developing film at the drugstore are short and sweet, the negatives are another story. You can expect long wait times and oftentimes, critical mistakes that effectively ruin your precious film. 

There are a few more things to know before you choose this option, so just make sure to check out our Guide to Developing at the Drugstore first.

Anywhere Else?

Kitty Hawk by Mike Maguire, ( CC BY 2.0 ), Taken on Fuji Provia 100F film on a Kodak Signet pocket camera

Do you anywhere else that develops film in Charlotte? Have you tried any of the labs on our list? Let us know in the comments.

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