Around Town: December 30 2011 - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Around Town: December 30 2011

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Bismarck, ND -

As 2011 comes to a close, so does a long time photo shop in Bismarck.  Photo Express has been 'cleverly hidden inside the Kirkwood Mall' for years. But, no matter how hard you look on Sunday you won't be able to find it. Photo Express is closing on Saturday.

"Well for me it's a joyous time because a.) I can spend more time at home and I hate to say it but I never have time to take pictures for my family, for myself, for my art," said Photo Express owner Gary Grinaker. "So, that is what I am going to be doing after we close the store."

Owner Gary Grinaker opened his photo business here thirty years ago. Since then he's developed thousand of phones. He says Christmas ones are always his favorite to develop. Although, he's seen just about everything.

"Oh the first one scared me to death," said Grinaker. "It had huge piles of marijuana, some dead bodies and then we found out it was the FBI, so then everything turned out ok.  But, you get kind of worried about those things sometimes."

As you can imagine he has seen a lot over the years.  Grinaker opened Photo Express in 1981, the store processed hundreds of rolls of film a day.  Now, it's what he ISN'T seeing that's forcing him to call it quits. No rolls of film to develop, no pictures as they used to be.

"Back in the last century you would bring be a roll of film and this roll of film would be a secret. You wouldn't know what was on it for sure. You would get your pictures out and everyone would crowd around the kitchen table and you would go 'Oh my God, she looks so cute on her birthday', 'That was our vacation. I totally forgot about that couple we were with", you don't see that anymore that excitement of seeing those treasures of your past memories. Now that everything is instant you don't have that," said Grinaker.

As Grinaker gets ready to hang up his hat, he holds onto more than just the memories he's captured.

"You are dealing with the people's most treasured moments of their lives and there is nothing more fun than that," Grinaker said.

Expect for maybe creating new memories of his own.

In other business news, Sears and Kmart stores in North Dakota are not on a list of stores expected to close. Sears announced earlier this week it plans to shutdown 100 to 120 stores around the country.  The company has released a list of 79 stores that are expected to close. The company expects the shutdowns will reduce its fixed costs by up to $200 million annually.

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