Polaroid Corp., a name synonymous with instant film cameras for 60 years, is getting out of the film business and concentrating on its other products, such as digital cameras and instant photo printers.
The firm said it will stop making large-format films for photographers and artists and will shutter plants in Norwood and Waltham, Mass., by the end of this quarter, eliminating about 150 jobs.
A Polaroid spokeswoman confirmed that instant film plants in Enschede, the Netherlands, and Queretaro, Mexico, also will close in the first half of this year. She said that about 150 jobs in the Netherlands and 70 in Mexico will be eliminated.
The company said that its U.S. employees have been warned since 2005 about the transition from analog to digital photography. The company has worked with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on programs to retrain workers.
The state joined with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., to ready employees for the biotech industry. Polaroid estimated that at least 50 former employees are now working in the biotech field.
The consumer electronics company phased out its instant cameras in the last couple of years.
A Polaroid spokeswoman said the company works with contract manufacturers throughout the world. Its Product Group designs products for its manufacturing partners to bring to market.
In January in Las Vegas, Polaroid launched a new line of products that allow for sharing of digital content from computers, cameras and cell phones. It makes a Digital Instant Photo Printer, as well as a Digital Media Exchange.
The company, which is headquartered in Concord, Mass., is building its Polaroid brand as a maker of digital cameras, personal DVD players and LCD televisions. It is part of Petters Group Worldwide of Minnetonka, Minn.