Where to Get Film Developed Near Me? Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens Compared

Since the digital age of photography film photography has become not as commonplace as it once was. While digital photography has made life more convenient, finding places to have any kind of film developed can be difficult and is often expensive. Luckily, there are a few places locally to help anyone develop their film.

Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS all provide film development services. Walmart has the cheapest options but longest turnaround time and limited options, Walgreens can have the fastest turnaround time but is more expensive, and CVS delivers the best quality with a short turnaround time. Depending on the store, it can cost anywhere from $9.96 to $18 to develop one roll of film at these stores along with digital scans to a CD and a set of 4×6 inch prints. However, only one of these places will return your negatives and that store only does it at limited locations.

Things to Consider When Getting Film Developed

Since digital photography is currently more common than film photography and developing film is an older technology, finding places to develop your film can be difficult. The cost, quality of the prints, turnaround time, if they return negatives, and what you get in return may all influence your decision. Ultimately, it is important to find something that fits not just your budget, but also is the best price for what you receive.

What Can These Store Develop

One of the first things to consider if what type of film can places like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens develop. Most of these places can develop 35mm color and black & white film, disposable cameras, APS (Advantix), 110, and slide film. So if you want to develop large format film, medium format film, 8mm, or 16mm film then check out this list of places that can develop those formats.

How Much Does It Cost?

Developing film can become expensive so you want to get the best bang for your buck. It can cost anywhere from $9.96 to $17.99 (not including taxes) to develop one roll of 35mm film at a local retail store. However, some online film processing labs will cost about the same but deliver better quality scans and will return your negatives, often with a much faster turnaround time. Finding the right price to fit within your budget can be what ultimately influences your decision and can override everything else.

What is the Quality?

While cost is important, so is the quality of the developing, scans, and prints from these places. Finding the place that has the best quality of development process, scans, and prints can make a world of difference. If quality of prints and scans are your priority then I recommend this list of developing labs that will produce high-resolution scans and high quality prints.

What is the Turnaround Time?

Finding the place that develops film within your expected time frame is also important. Photo development can take anywhere from a few days to a several weeks to complete, depending on the location and what type of film you are developing. If time is a priority, your options may be limited, especially if it is film other than color film.

Refund on Scanning Blank Negatives?

Some labs (like GelatinLabs.com, Photo-60studio.com, and Process One Photo) will refund the price of scanning film that is blank or frames of your negatives that are blank. This is only true of specific labs and especially not true of retail stores like Walgreen, CVS, and Walmart.

Negatives Returned?

Retrieving the negatives after the film is developed is the whole point of the process. It is easier than ever to scan your own film using a dedicated scanner, digital camera, or smartphone so you may want to know that some places, while they will develop the film, won’t return your negatives. All of the local stores like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens that develop film currently do not return your film negatives. However, there are specific Walmart locations that will return negatives but you have to ask for it on the form and it is not guaranteed. Both locations near me said they did not return film.

See this list of labs that will return your film negatives after developing your film.

Digitizing

Another thing to consider when deciding where to develop your photos is if the company will digitize the photos for you. While all three of the major stores (Walmart, Walgreens, and and CVS) do offer free scanning and printing services along with developing the film, in my experience places like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens do not return high-resolution or high quality scans of your negatives.

For a list of film developing labs that will return high-quality scans of your negatives see this list. Once the negative scans are returned to you by CD, email or via a link your photos can be edited or printed either at home or through a company that only works with digital photos like Snapfish.com or Costco.com.

Where to Develop Film Near Me?

Usually the closet places to develop film near you may be Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS. While these places do process film, they are not always the best place to have it done because they don’t return your negatives and the scans are mediocre, at best.

There are many processing labs still in business that will handle your negatives with the upmost care and return your negatives. However, they are normally in large cities or places where they can be supported (California, New York, New Jersey Portland, or Washington, DC, for example). While these online labs places might have more options available you will still need to mail your film to them. See this article for a list of online labs compariting services and cost. However, most people will have access to a pharmacy that can still develop film like Walmart, CVS, or Walgreens.

Store
Film Development
Develop Disposable Cameras?
Scanning
Return Negatives?
Turnaround Time
Cost for Development
Walmart
Yes
Yes
Yes
May Be Possible At Specific Locations But Not Guaranteed
2-3 weeks
$9.96 – $13.96 (CD & Set of Prints)
CVS
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
7 – 10 days
$14.42 – $16.99 (CD & Set of Prints)
Walgreens
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
7 – 10 days
$14.99- $17.99 (CD & Set of Prints)
Costco
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Sam’s Club
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Target
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Pharmacy Film Development Services Comparison

Cost of Film Development for Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS Compared

Film development at Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS is by exposures that your film roll is capable. Below are the prices by exposures by store for 35mm color film and disposable cameras (see below for more information of each retail store).

Film Roll Exposures
Walmart
CVS
Walgreens
12
$7.96
$10.99
0
24
$9.96
$14.42
$14.99
27
$10.96
$14.99
$15.86
36
$13.96
$16.99
$17.99

Of the three stores, I recommend using Walmart because of the low cost, the prints and scans are included with the overall cost, and it may be possible get your negatives back at specific locations. However, if I wasn’t concerned with getting my negatives back I would consider CVS.

1. Walmart

Walmart Photo Website
Walmart Photo Website

Pros:

  • One of the cheapest options
  • Can get your negatives back at limited locations (you may have to inquire until you find someone who knows)
  • Many locations available so it is likely near you
  • Extra prints are only $2 more
  • Can develop Disposable / Single-Use Cameras
  • Can develop 35mm color and black & white film
  • CD of scanned negatives and prints included with development cost
  • Will call you when your order is ready

Cons:

  • Long wait time of up to 2 – 3 weeks
  • Low resolution scans and prints
  • Very little, if any, customer service – drop film in a paper envelope in the store
  • No online film development ordering available
  • Print paper is sometimes matte and not glossy
  • Only can develop 35mm black & white and color film

Does Walmart still develop film?

Yes, Walmart can develop 35mm color and black & white film but it may vary depending on location. The film is sent to Fujifilm North America. Film development is available in the store using a paper envelope that is dropped at the store and there is no option online. It may also be possible to get your negatives returned at specific locations but it is not guaranteed.

How much does it cost to develop film at Walmart?

The following is the cost to develop film at Walmart. The cost of development is determined by how many exposures your film roll is capable of (most will be 24 – 36) and includes 4×6 inch prints and a CD with digital scans of your negatives:

Number of Exposures
Single Prints
Double Prints
12 Exposures
$7.96
$9.96
24 Exposures
$9.96
$12.96
27 Exposures
$10.96
$14.96
36 Exposures
$13.96
$18.96
Cost of 35mm Film Development at Walmart

Can Walmart Develop Disposable cameras?

Yes, Walmart does develop disposable / Single-Use color cameras. The price for development, CD of scans, and 4×6 prints is determined by the maximum exposures on your film roll (most are 24 – 36) and is the same for 35mm film, which is:

Number of Exposures
Single Prints
Double Prints
12 Exposures
$7.96
$9.96
24 Exposures
$9.96
$12.96
27 Exposures
$10.96
$14.96
36 Exposures
$13.96
$18.96
Cost of Disposable Camera Development at Walmart

What is the quality of film development and scanning at Walmart?

The quality of scans from Walmart are not high resolution and the prints are not very good according to customers on social media.

How long does it take to get film developed at Walmart?

It takes up to 2 – 3 weeks to get your film developed at Walmart.

Will Walmart return my negatives?

While it is possible that specific Walmart locations may return your negatives when getting film developed, you have to request it on the drop off form and it is not guaranteed. When I checked at my local stores they didn’t even know they could develop film or the cost and the pricing information and film dropbox was hidden under other items on the desk.

Therefore, if not getting your negatives back is a dealbreaker for you, then I’d recommend looking into other places that offer film development and will return your negatives.

Can Walmart scan my film?

Yes, Walmart will scan you film when getting it developed and give it to you on CD in addition to 4×6 inch prints. Scans are included with the overall cost.

2. CVS

CVS Film Processing Webpage
CVS Film Processing Webpage

Does CVS Pharmacy still develop film?

CVS is also one of the few places that still develops film. They do not develop it in-house, but send the film out for quick and quality development and printing. The only downside is that the negatives are not returned to the customer after development. For a photo service through CVS, be sure to find a local physical store and not a kiosk inside a larger store. If cost is not an issue, CVS has the best quality services for developing film with the most options.

Pros:

  • Many locations available so it is likely near you
  • Can develop Disposable / Single-Use Cameras
  • CD and prints included with development cost
  • Shorter wait time (7 – 10 days) than Walmart (2 – 3 weeks)
  • Good quality scans and prints
  • Can develop 35mm black & white and color film. Other options include Advantix (APS), 110, and slide film (but locations may vary)
  • Will call you when your order is ready

Cons:

  • Won’t get your negatives back
  • Very little, if any, customer service – drop film in a paper envelope in the store
  • No online film developing ordering available
  • Other film formats like 35mm black & white film, APS, 110, and slide film take much longer (3 weeks).
  • Slightly more expensive than Walmart

Does CVS still develop film?

Yes, CVS can develop 35mm color but it may vary depending on location. CVS can also develop other film types like 35mm black & white, APS, 110, and slide film but it takes approximately 3 weeks and you also do not get your negatives back. Film development is available in the store using a paper envelope that is dropped at the store and there is no online option for development.

How much does it cost to develop film at CVS?

The following is the cost to develop film at CVS. The cost of development is determined by how many exposures your film roll is capable of (most will be 24 – 36) and includes 4×6 inch prints and a CD with digital scans. If you want two sets of prints then the price goes up:

Number of Exposures
Single Prints
Double Prints
12
$10.99
$12.99
24
$14.42
$17.85
27
$14.99
$18.99
36
$16.99
$21.99
Cost of 35mm Color Film development at CVS Pharmacy

For the price of the other types of film formats (35mm black & white, APS, 110, and slide film), please call your local CVS.

Can CVS Develop Disposable cameras?

Yes, CVS does develop disposable / Single-Use color cameras. The price for development, CD of scanned negatives, and 4×6 prints is determined by how many exposures your film roll is capable of (most will be 24 – 36). If you want two sets of prints then the price goes up:

Number of Exposures
Single Prints
Double Prints
12
$10.99
$12.99
24
$14.42
$17.85
27
$14.99
$18.99
36
$16.99
$21.99
Cost of Disposable Camera Development at CVS Pharmacy

What is the quality of film development and scanning at CVS?

Reviewers on social media have said that CVS provides beautiful photos with amazing clarity and expert quality (depending on the original quality of the camera and photo, of course).

How long does it take to get film developed at CVS?

It takes 7 – 10 days to develop your film at CVS. Other formats including 35mm black & white, APS, 110, and slide film takes approximately 3 weeks.

Will CVS return my negatives?

No, CVS will not return your negatives.

Can CVS scan my film?

Yes, CVS will scan your film when getting it developed and give digital scans back to you on CD in addition to 4×6 inch prints. Scans are included with the overall cost.

3. Walgreens

Walgreens Film Processing Webpage
Walgreens Film Processing Webpage

Walgreens is another store to consider when you’re deciding where to develop film. Walgreens does not develop film in-house, like the others on the list, and sends it out to Fujifilm of North America to develop your film. This process can take anywhere from 7 days to a few weeks. Despite the wait, the quality of the prints are good and worth the wait.

Walgreens offers this service for many different types of film and exposures. However, Walgreens does not return the negatives of the film.

Pros:

  • Many locations available so it is likely near you
  • Can develop Disposable / Single-Use Cameras
  • CD included with development cost
  • Shorter wait time (7 – 10 days) than Walmart (2 – 3 weeks)
  • Decent quality scans but low-resolution
  • Will call you when your order is complete

Cons:

  • Won’t get your negatives back
  • Overall cost does not include prints
  • Very little, if any, customer service – drop film in a paper envelope in the store
  • No online film developing ordering available
  • Overall more expensive than Walmart and CVS, especially with film roll with 36 exposures
  • Prints are mediocre at best

Does Walgreens still develop film?

Yes, Walgreens can develop 35mm color but you won’t get your negatives back. Film development is available in the store using a paper envelope that is dropped at the store and there is no online option for development.

Walgreens can also develop black & white film, APS, 110, and slides for the same price as 35mm film (see below). However, the turnaround time goes to 3 weeks.

Front of the Order Form used by Walgreens to Develop Film.
Order Form used by Walmart to Develop Film.

How much does it cost to develop film at Walgreens?

The following is the cost to develop film at Walgreens. The cost of development is determined by how many exposures your film roll is capable of (most will be 24 – 36) and includes 4×6 inch prints and a CD with digital scans of your negatives:

Number of Film Exposures
Cost
24 exposures
$14.99
27 exposures
$15.86
36 exposures
$17.99
Cost of Film Development at Walgreens

Can Walgreens Develop Disposable cameras?

Yes, Walgreens does develop disposable / Single-Use color cameras. The price for development and a CD with digital scans is determined by the maximum number of exposures on your film roll (most are 24 – 27 or 36) and is the same for 35mm film.

Number of Film Exposures
Cost
24 exposures
$14.99
27 exposures
$15.86
36 exposures
$17.99
Cost of Film Development at Walgreens

What is the quality of film development and scanning at Walgreens?

Reviewers on social media have said that Walgreens provides decent, low-resolution scans and mediocre prints. However, this will vary by location.

How long does it take to get film developed at Walgreens?

Depending on where you live it could take anywhere from 7 days – 10 days to develop your 35mm film and disposable camera and most report it takes about a week. If you develop another format like 35mm, APS, 110, or slides it takes at least 3 weeks.

Will Walgreens return my negatives?

No, Walgreens will not return your negatives.

Can Walgreens scan my film?

Yes, Walgreens will scan your film when getting it developed and return low-resolution digital scans of your film back to you on CD. Scans are included with the overall cost.

Places That Do NOT Provide Film Development

Does Sam’s Club develop film?

Sam’s Club has joined the ranks in the stores that do not develop film. Sam’s Club does not have a physical photo center, but relies on its online photo center to maintain its picture printing abilities. This service is also only available for Sam’s Club members.

Does Target develop film?

A few years ago, Target would have been considered one of the places to get film developed. However, during the COVID pandemic in the spring of 2020, all the stores removed their photo services and now use the space for storage. Their online photo services are still up and running, however, they do not have film development capabilities anymore.

Does Costco develop film?

Costco also does not offer any in-house photo services. Just like Sam’s Club and Target, they have turned to the internet to do their photo business. However, Costco has photo printing services for their members that let them send their prints directly to their own home.

Retails Stores Film Development Services Comparison

Store
Film Development
Disposable Cameras?
Scanning
Returns Negatives
Development Time
Cost for Development
Walmart
Yes
Yes
Yes
Limited Locations By Request
2-3 weeks
$9.96 – $13.96 (CD & Set of Prints)
CVS
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
7 – 10 days
$14.42 – $16.99 (CD & Set of Prints)
Walgreens
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
7 – 10 days
$14.99- $17.99 (CD & Set of Prints)
Costco
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Sam’s Club
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Target
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Pharmacy Film Development Services Comparison

At Home Film Scanning & Development

Developing Film with a Film Tank and Changing Bag

Developing film can be expensive and there may not be any of the film developers located near you. If this is the case, you may need to consider developing your own film. Depending on the process or type of film you develop, the process can be easy or may require a bit of practice. In this article I make the argument that it is better to develop black & white at home and send out your color film for development.

Also, there are digitizing kits available that make scanning your film after developing it at home fairly easy using equipment you already have. However, these kits cannot do medium format or large format negatives, so you may need to consider purchasing a scanner for these film formats. I recommend the Epson v600 scanner on Amazon.com for scanning negatives larger than 35mm.

Products for Digitizing film At Home:

KODAK Mobile Film Scanner: This scanner by Kodak gives you the option using the specialized app to scan your 35mm slides, color, and black & white film and save it to your smartphone. It uses an LED light to reveal images on your negative to your capture it and edit it to perfection. It also collapses down for easy travel and storage. At around $34.99, it will save you a lot of money in the long run by allowing you to scan images yourself.

Rybozen Mobil Film and Slide Scanner: This product allows you to use your phone to scan old 35mm color and black & white film and digitize it into your phone. Using LED lights, this user-friendly app scans what the camera is seeing through the light. The kit also provides a stand for the phone to sit on so that the photo is captured correctly every time. Not only is this product easy to use, but it also folds away for future use. At around $29.99, it will scan limitless photos for the same price it costs to develop 40 exposures.

DIGITNOW 22MP All-In-One Scanner: This product allows you to see your 35mm color and black and white negatives without the hassle of an app or computer to process the film. It is hand-held and can scan and digitize your negatives with 22/16 resolution to your computer and/or phone as desired. It can scan both black and white and color photos one frame at a time. At around $79.99, this is a great “middle ground” film scanner.

Magnasonic All-in-one 22MP Scanner: If you want to avoid the hassle of using a phone and/or app to capture your photos, this may be the option for you. This scanner feeds the 35mm film in and saves it to the device and/or SD card. It can save up to 128GB of data. Not only does it save your photos to the device(s), but it will show you the photos during and after development on a screen attached to the device. These photos are easily transferable to your computer with a quality of up to 22 megapixels. This product is more on the expensive end—the initial starting cost being around $119.99.

Developing 35mm Film At Home

Developing film can be expensive and there may not be any of the film developers located near you. If this is the case, you may need to consider developing your own film. Depending on the process or type of film you develop, the process can be easy or may require a bit of practice. In this article I make the argument that is makes more financial sense to develop black & white at home and sending out your color film for development.

See this article about how to develop 35mm and medium format color film at home and see this article for how to develop 35mm or medium format black & white film at home.

The only downside to developing your own film, other than the risk of ruining it, is that you may need to find another source to enlarge and print the photos if you don’t have a darkroom already. See this article about how to set up your own darkroom including the cost involved and this article for how to make a print in the darkroom. However, most photographers scan their negatives using either a camera or a scanner and edit them before printing them using an inkjet printer.

Conclusion

While the place closest to you that develops film may be a Walgreen, Walmart, or CVS these places are often not the best place to develop film. None of these places will return your film negatives back to you and the scans are not high-resolution or done with care. Even though, all three stores will produce digital prints for you from your scanned negatives but only two of these three stores will develop more than just color 35mm film like slide film, 110, or black & white film but they don’t offer other formats like medium format film or other processes like ECN-2 processing, pushing / pulling film, or cross-processing film.

Often there may be professional labs in your area, or within mailing distance, that can offer more options in film development, more advanced services like darkroom prints from your negatives, better choice of scan resolutions, and a written review of your negatives with faster turnaround times than Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS and is usually about the same price or, in some instances, cheapter like these labs: Dwayne’s Photo, TheDarkroom.com, Old School Photo Lab, and MPIX.

Lee

My name is Lee and I love photography and learning. I received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography in 2010 and have worked as a university professor for the last 10 years in addition to being a working photographer. I started this website to learn more about digital and film-based photography and to provide a resource for all of my students.

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