Australian ProPhoto

Michaels Camera Store Closes After 105 Years


Melbourne’s iconic Michael’s Camera Video & Digital has closed its doors after 105 years in business and is now operating solely as an online retailer. The store on the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets was originally establishe­d as gunsmiths and pawnbroker­s, and began selling photograph­ic equipment when the business switched to being a pharmacy in 1925. The business has remained in family hands for the entire time, becoming a dedicated photo retailer in 1976. It later became the largest camera store in Australia.

Current owner Peter Michael is the great-grandson of the original founder and says maintainin­g the bricks-andmortar store was no longer viable due to a massive 80% reduction in foot trade due to the ongoing impact of the Covid19 pandemic on Melbourne’s CBD over the last year.

The store also housed a huge collection of cameras and photograph­ic memorabili­a, running to over 10,000 items. It’s thought to be the largest private collection in the world and contains many very-rare items. Peter Michael says he would like to keep it all together and donate it to an institutio­n such as the Melbourne Museum. The Michael family will retain ownership of the building.

Michaels Cameras online can be found at

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