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What to expect at this year’s PolaCon Instant Film Convention in Denton, Dallas

Daniel Rodrigue, left, and Chad Withers look at an enlarged Polaroid photograph shot by Withers in last year’s “PolaCon: An Instant Film Retrospective” at UNT CoLab.
Daniel Rodrigue, left, and Chad Withers look at an enlarged Polaroid photograph shot by Withers in last year’s “PolaCon: An Instant Film Retrospective” at UNT CoLab.

Grab a Polaroid or any instant film camera to attend PolaCon, which organizers in Denton call the world’s first three-day convention focusing on instant film.

PolaCon 8: An Instant Film Convention will be hosted around downtown Denton and Dallas from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, with a “Day Zero” on Thursday.

Since 2016, the convention has featured three days of workshops, photo walks and demonstrations in Denton and Dallas for instant film enthusiasts.

PolaCon will feature over 25 events this year, up from last year’s 20.

Hosted by the Instant Film Society, the society has promoted awareness, accessibility and understanding of instant film photography since 2012.

The society has grown exponentially, drawing as many as 350 instant film shooters to its events from all over the globe.

Don’t worry if you’re starting your instant film journey because there will be sessions for beginners as well as advanced workshops for longtime enthusiasts.

“Anyone of all ages can come,” society co-founder Daniel Rodrigue said last year. “We also have a beginner one-on-one-style instant film, one-on-one workshops, and sessions for people who just got their camera or maybe want to watch and see how easy it is and think about getting a camera.”

One of the convention’s highlights will be a session on the new Polaroid I-2 camera, the first analog instant camera with built-in manual controls.

Spread over four nights, the event will also feature performances by over 20 artists and acts at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.

The big closing concert is on Sunday evening with Denton-based band Pearl Earl and Dallas-based band the Polyphonic Spree at Rubber Gloves.

Full schedule


“Day Zero” of the convention will have attendees travel to Dallas to attend historic sites related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and for a PolaWalk.

11 a.m. to noon: Meet for lunch at Campisi’s, which has ties to the Kennedy assassination, at 1520 Elm St., Suite 111, in Dallas.

12:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Meet in the shade of the grassy knoll, 411 Elm St., the small green space marking the spot where Kennedy was fatally shot, followed by a stroll to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza.

3 to 4 p.m.: Meet at Top Ten Records, 338 Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, for a Jefferson Street PolaWalk.

4 to 6 p.m.: Happy hour meet-and-greet at the Texas Theatre, 231 Jefferson Blvd., Dallas.

8 to midnight: Head to Rubber Gloves.


Here’s what to expect on day one of the convention in Dallas and Denton.

10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 12th annual State Fair of Texas PolaWalk at the fairgrounds in Dallas, including a scavenger hunt. The official meetups will be behind the Big Tex in Fair Park at noon, 3:30 and 6 p.m.

8 p.m.: Head back to Denton for a welcome party and concert with photographable bands at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio.


Expect workshops and music during the second day of the convention in downtown Denton.

8:30 to 9:30 a.m.: Walk around downtown Denton to for a mural PolaWalk.

11 a.m.: Meet at Denton Camera Exchange, 117 Piner St., before a PolaWalk through downtown Denton to Rubber Gloves.

Noon to 6 p.m.: Workshops, panel discussions and the “Zines & Things Swap” at Rubber Gloves.

6 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Photographable performances, as well as karaoke with J Doubles, at Rubber Gloves.


The last day of the convention will feature workshops at Harvest House and music at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio.

10:30 a.m. to noon: Meet at Denton Camera Exchange before heading to Harvest House.

Noon to 6 p.m.: Workshops, photo booths and the “Zines & Things Swap” at Harvest House.

6 p.m.: Wrap-up party at Rubber Gloves with bands Polyphonic Spree and Pearl Earl.

Ticket detailsGeneral admission tickets — $35 for all three days, or $20 for just Saturday or Sunday — will get attendees into all workshops and meetups. GA tickets do not include admission to evening concerts on Saturday and Sunday.

The $50 general admission package will include access to workshops and meetups, as well as a poster and other special swag.

The $100 “Whole Package” includes access to all workshops and meetups, merchandise and full access to all concerts at Rubber Gloves.