Peoria Digicam Store closing after 84 years in enterprise

PEORIA — About 84 a very long time, Peoria Digicam Store survived modifications in spot and enhancements in how individuals took and preserved footage.

However it seems it could effectively not endure the demise of “The Digicam Dude.”

Located on the Metro Centre looking plaza, Peoria Digital digital camera Store designs to shut for nice Feb. 25. Its picture-processing laboratory probably will shutter up coming 7 days, whereas the maintain is to proceed to advertise cameras, lenses and different instruments via February.

The surprising passing of Bill Dobbins, who acquired the retailer in 2007, led to the closure, in line with his son, Nate Dobbins. The elder Dobbins, a Morton resident, was 61 when he died two days forward of Xmas.

“I really really feel like I’m bragging by saying this, however I sense prefer it actually is a large loss for the neighborhood,” Nate Dobbins reported in regards to the retailer’s impending closure. “It may be a big decline for my family members. However … that is the up coming step for my household in our grieving course of.”

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Eric Brinker, the Metro Centre president, defined to the Journal Star he’s functioning with the Dobbins partner and youngsters to attempt to acquire a chance purchaser.

“Bill constructed these a sturdy enterprise enterprise, with about 30 a very long time of background, and we wish to do by any means we are able to to take care of his legacy and see it go on to prosper for a number of years to come back,” Brinker said in an electronic mail.

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Darla Dobbins, Bill Dobbins’ widow, is the shop’s co-operator. Nate Dobbins and his 3 sisters additionally endure Month-to-month invoice Dobbins, as do 13 grandchildren.

Bill Dobbins operated the Peoria Digicam Retailer printing lab for 17 years earlier than he took about the complete operation. Forward of that, he was a specialist photographer.

“He was type of acknowledged as ‘The Digicam Male,’ on the very least near Morton,” Nate Dobbins reported. “You’d usually see him carrying his digicam near.”

The group very lengthy was located in Downtown Peoria

Peoria Digicam Store carried photographic devices from the working day it opened, in 1937 alongside Monroe Street in Downtown Peoria. In 1950, the Downtown retail retailer moved to 539 Main St. and remained there for 46 a very long time.

In 1990, Peoria Digital digital camera Retailer opened its Metro Centre location. The enterprise skilled fairly a couple of entrepreneurs, together with founders Joe Kilton and Huber Sammis, earlier than Month-to-month invoice Dobbins ordered it.

From then, Nate Dobbins was the retailer supervisor. He commenced doing work there when he was a teen. Working its film processor was amongst his first obligations.

However in 2018, the youthful Dobbins remaining his father’s make use of and grew to grow to be a remain-at-dwelling father of three, along with twin ladies who now are 3. Dobbins’ spouse, Leah, is a well being practitioner. In 2020, they moved to Knoxville, Tennessee.