The trained photographer Robert Thévenaz founded the "Filmentwicklungsanstalt für Filmkopien" (Establishment for film developing and copying) in Wädenswil. He first processed substandard films on behalf of Ferrania and Perutz. Subsequently, 16-mm films of the Swiss National Television are added. This is where the name "Pro Ciné" comes from.
In 1962, the substandard film processing is stopped. The launch of the Kodak Instamatic is the beginning of mass photography. The fact that Pro Ciné as an independent laboratory can compete with world companies like Agfa, Kodak, Fuji, Ferrania, Perutz, etc. is a Swiss oddity.
In 1973, Robert Thévenaz hands over the company to his son, René Thévenaz, who further expands the company. The important customers are Swiss photo retailers as well as professional photographers. Also, major chain stores like Migros and ABM are served. A separately established courier company delivers the finished works - mostly photo prints from films and slides - throughout Switzerland up to two times a day.
Pro Ciné has about 450 people on the pay roll and thus reaches the zenith of the company's size.
It's the beginning of digital photography, which is reflected in the decline in film consumption in the subsequent years. Pro Ciné has to adjust the costs to the steadily declining sales.
The Swiss National Exposition Expo02 takes place in Western Switzerland. On this occasion, Pro Ciné launched "fotomaxx" with the task of ensuring exclusively the photo service on all four sites of the Expo area.
Pro Ciné makes large-format photo books with silver-halide photo paper for professional photographers and demanding private customers. A new company strategy is implemented and continously realized: to become the leading Swiss manufacturer of fine photo products with emphasis on individual service rather than acting as a mass producer.
René Thévenaz retires from his position and sells the company to Roland Waller, a long-standing managing director. While our sales program mainly consists of the digitally based photo products, we still take care of the traditional film in all variations.