Why Choose Center City? A Q&A With Ravid Butz, Owner of PhotoLounge

Since March 2020, Center City District has welcomed 135 new storefront businesses to the downtown, including 73 food and beverage establishments, 38 retailers, and 24 service providers. As Center City welcomes back visitors, shoppers, and workers, we’ll be shining a spotlight on retailers and restaurants that make Philadelphia’s resilient and dynamic downtown business district the ultimate destination for shopping, culinary and entertainment experiences.

To learn more about Center City retail, download the CCD's full annual report- State of Center City 2022 or the Retail chapter. For more about Center City’s retail scene, download the March 2021 Retail Update report. 

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photolab storefront takenfromwebsite

PhotoLounge is a family-owned photo lab founded in 1997 to sell used cameras to students in Center City.

In 2021, PhotoLounge owner Ravid Butz expanded his shop’s footprint to a multilevel building a few blocks from its former location. Ravid’s staff is a knowledgeable crew of students and recent graduates from nearby art schools such as University of the Arts and Moore College of Art & Design. In 2021, he opened PL130 Gallery at the store to showcase new work by emerging photographers and support the city’s photography community.

4 Questions with Ravid Butz, Owner of PhotoLounge, 130 S. 17th Street

Q: Why did you open your business in Center City?
A: I opened PhotoLounge in Center City in 1997 and never looked back. We love that people can walk to our store or stumble upon it. We especially love that Philly is so residential and feels like such a community, and also that so many people from the suburbs work here and patronize our store.

Q: What makes Center City a great place to do business?
Philly is a very easy city to navigate and very walkable. We serve customers that drive by and run in, and customers who walk to us from anywhere or ride their bikes. The demographic range is astonishingly diverse, from Baby Boomers who live in town to young families to Gen Zs who attend one of the many universities.

Q: What has supported you in opening a successful business in Philadelphia?
Our customers have supported us through thick and thin and consider us an important resource.

Q: How do you think Philadelphia will change in the next few years?
There is also a huge influx of young people who come and fall in love with the city and want to make a home here. We feel positive about staying in Philly and our commitments and investment in our business reflect that.


Would you like your Center City business highlighted by the Center City District? Do you have questions about opening a store downtown? Contact the Center City District at or (215) 440-5500.

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