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Castro Camera Shop Is Featured in Harvey Milk Biopic Milk Starring Sean Penn

Oscar Worthy Gadgets: Milk's Cameras

Nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor for Sean Penn in the title role, Milk is the moving story of San Francisco's first openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk. After moving to the Bay Area, Harvey Milk opens up a camera repair shop — the real life Castro Camera.


Of course, the shop wasn't used as just a repair shop for long; it would become the heart of Milk's political career — first as a gathering place, then his campaign headquarters. It did keep operating, and as we see in the movie, provided comical fodder in the form of peeking at customers' developed film.

The real Castro Camera is now a gift shop, and fun fact — I watched the movie at the legendary Castro theater, on the same block as the old shop; though it's no longer the camera shop, what was once a tiny epicenter of a community has spread out from it, into a neighborhood, a city, and continues on, as part of Harvey's legacy.

Photo Courtesy of Focus Features

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