David Longstreath, left, Steve Pyle, and Dave Martin build a temporary darkroom wall in a hotel meeting room in Los Angeles for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1987. At the top of the 2×4 being pressed to the ceiling is a strip of foam insulation to block light from the adjacent space.

Pope John Paul II In The Hotel Darkroom

After traveling across the country from New Orleans to Los Angeles with 27 cases of equipment we settled into a hotel meeting room. Our overnight task was to turn it into a darkroom to handle an unknown number of rolls of film, prints, and analog photo transmissions to a variety of locations domestic and foreign.

When completed, we would leave for Detroit with our 27 cases and leave no trace of having converted the meeting room into a messy darkroom. This is how it began. Actually it began with a trip to Home Depot for materials.

David Longstreath, left, Steve Pyle, and Dave Martin build a temporary darkroom wall in a hotel meeting room in Los Angeles for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1987.

 

Dave Martin. left, and Steve Pyle help install black plastic to create a darkroom wall in a hotel meeting room in Los Angeles for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1987.

 

The print darkroom in a hotel meeting room in Los Angeles. The floor, walls, and tables are covered in plastic to prevent stains from the darkroom chemistry.