On the other hand, it gives KA until the machines at Bldg 38 are scrapped (or re-purposed for the box printing venture) to be up and running and coating film once again at Harrow. Many, if not all, of the current or at least recent films were coated there at one time and there are still emulsion people alive to figure it out. No, I did not say it was a simple undertaking, but such things can be done. As much as the new people don't say anything about making film, I haven't seen where they said they weren't going to make it either. Business publications want to hear about what a company is doing that's new. Kodak, in whatever form, making film is not news. Same as if Ford said they were going to be making cars. So what? Everyone knows that.Taken together, they seem to support my position that, after Eastman Kodak's motion picture supply agreement ends, Building 38 will cease being the place where still film is coated. At that point, either Alaris will schlep its R&D staff and IP to Harrow in an attempt to coat still films itself, or some third-party supplier's film product(s) will have a "Kodak" brand slapped on them. In either situation, what becomes available for retail purchase won't be the 320TXP, TMX or TMY we know today. I intentionally omitted Ektar and Portra, since Kodak color film, in my opinion, will be a thing of history when this happens.
It would have been simple enough for KA to dump the film business before taking over the remains of the carcass. They did not do that. KA was to never have the motion picture business in the first place as that was specifically cut out of the deal. KA's business model for film probably does not really care about motion picture film.
The best opportunity to keep any coated product being made is that the coating line is multi-purpose as in that other things can be coated on it beside photographic products. I'd like to be able to buy Ektar and T-Max for the foreseeable future. Where and how it is coated I do not really care.
Stop with all the doom and gloom already. Kodak as a whole hasn't said much of anything about film in the last 10 or 12 years as if their denial of it's very existence would be their saving grace. It wasn't. That Bldg 38 has a firm date with the cutting torch and wrecking ball is not much in doubt. It never was. All this was put in the works when Whitmore drove the company back to a film concentration in 1993 when those of us who worked there knew it was short-sighted as hell. Actually, so did he, but, he's dead. So the short-sightedness was long enough for him. 20 years later and we can still buy Kodak film despite Eastman Kodak's best intentions. There were as successful at ending sales and manufacture of their bread and butter product as they were at anything else they tried to do to turn the company around. In other words, they sucked at killing off film, too.
But we don't know what other plans there are at KA the same as we don't know what's going to happen at Ilford or Ferrania or General Motors. If all the decisions were being made and overseen in Rochester then there wouldn't be much hope. But they aren't. They are supposed to be being made in England and I'll take the liberty of calling that Europe. (I don't know how Englishmen feel about that, though.) Europe has Ilford and Adox and Foma alive. Plus Ferrania trying to come out of the grave and Agfa around in some form. (And my apologies to whoever else I forgot) Why? Because in my experience business in Europe thinks longer term and realizes that while niche markets maybe aren't high growth industries, there are still customers to be served and money to be made. My hope is that the thinking at KA is along these lines. A sustainable model for a right sized business that serves a loyal customer base and earns a consistent return for their pension fund.