DuArt Film Laboratories and "The Biggest Mensch in the Business," Irwin Young $DAFL

This is the only time we can think of that an Oddball company executive has been honored with a full New York Times obituary:

Mr. Young had a practical side as well. He made two investments in the 1970s that helped secure DuArt’s long-term future: He acquired the 12-story building in Midtown Manhattan where the laboratory had long been located, freeing it from the whims of a landlord; and he bought a two-thirds interest in a television station in Puerto Rico, which brought in a strong flow of revenue that helped improve DuArt’s bottom line. He also oversaw DuArt’s embrace of a process that benefited independent filmmakers: blowing up 16-millimeter negatives into 35-millimeter prints, which have a better chance at being commercially viable. And he added to DuArt’s photochemical film processing business by branching into film-to-video transfers and online video editing in 1970, and into digital work, including effects, titles and restorations, in 1994. But last August, Ms. Young, DuArt’s president and chief executive since 2017, announced that its business was being shuttered because it was no longer economically viable to stay independent. Its building was recently put up for sale.

DuArt Film Laboratories (DAFL) is well known by Oddball investors, although we have not mentioned it on the blog (except briefly). Nate first mentioned it in Issue 9 of the Newsletter, and we also published updates in Issues 36, 31, and 26. (The latter two are available à la carte if you are interested in giving the Newsletter a try.)

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