July 19, 2017

End of an Era: Denny Clairmont Retires, Sells Clairmont Camera to Keslow

Keslow Camera has purchased Clairmont Camera, a longtime leader in camera rentals.

Clairmont Camera has long been at the forefront of cinema camera rentals in Los Angeles, with an impressive presence in the Canadian market to boot. Between its close working relationship with cinematographers to develop new technology, its exceptionally generous rental programs for students, and its distinctive yellow boxes, everyone who has worked regularly in any of those markets should be familiar with Clairmont. Now, after 41 years in business, founder Denny Clairmont is retiring and selling the company to crosstown rival Keslow Camera.

Credit: Clairmont

In addition to its large inventory of modern equipment, Clairmont has always been a leader in maintaining a large vintage equipment inventory. Clairmont's vintage and anamorphic lens collection (including custom made Clairmont Anamorphics) is four times the size of Kelsow's, which will bring more lens choice to clients going with Keslow in the future.

Shooting a project in Univizium and need the ground glass?  Clairmont probably has the one it made for Vittorio Storaro hanging out in a drawer. 

Beyond glass, Clairmont, along with Alan Gordon, has always been the go to for an oddball piece of equipment. Need a speed aperture computer for a 1980s era 16SR High Speed? Clairmont had it, and kept it working. Need a speed plate for a 1940s era Arri IIC to make it work with the 1000mm lens it kept in stock? Clairmont had that too. Shooting a project in Univizium and need the ground glass?  Clairmont probably has the one it made for Vittorio Storaro hanging out in a drawer. Hopefully that impressive collection of sometimes-used equipment will find a good home at Keslow.

Always mind the warning labelsCredit: Clairmont Camera

Clairmont's premiere facility in the San Fernando valley will close and the staff and equipment will relocate to the Keslow facility in Culver City. Keslow will also gain the Albequrque location (where Clairmont supported Breaking Bad), and the four Clairmont locations across Canada, significantly expanding the footprint for Keslow in the hot production markets of Toronto and Vancouver, as well as in Montreal and Sudbury.

Clarimont camera has won two Emmy awards and an AMPAS technical achievement award, in addition to supporting countless award-winning projects over the decades. Keslow, a relative newcomer having been founded in 1990, has a stellar customer service reputation and will hopefully make a good home for both the gear and the staff of Clairmont now that Denny is retiring.     

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As a Clairmont staffer, I can say the whole team is very excited about this transition - it really is a match made in Heaven.

Thanks for all the inspiration Denny! Enjoy your retirement (although we all know you will never truly retire;)

July 19, 2017 at 1:32PM

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Andrew Kierans
Digital Cinema Technician
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