As I was unpacking our Small Business Saturday promotional package, I was trying to think of some ways to promote us as a place to shop during the holiday season. Loving my job, I want to see this store and the new Reno store succeed of course. I am a huge advocate for shopping local and promoting the small businesses I love.
With this in mind, I decided that our customers might like to learn a little history about Action Camera, Roseville. I contacted Mr. Dale Zicarelli, original owner of Action Camera Roseville and he was gracious enough to let me interview him. Here is Dale’s story.
Dale Zicarelli purchased his first Minolta SRT 101 in Japan where he was stationed. His road to photography began in Japan and Korea. Upon returning home 1972 he began working as an electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. In 1983 he began to look for ways to move out of the field he was in because working with live wire had become a hazard to his health and he felt the need to work in a safer environment.
While still working as an electrician, his Minolta needed a repair. He took his camera down to the local repair shop. After paying a $100 bill for the repair he decided to teach himself everything about about camera, flash, and slide projector repair. Soon after he was running a small repair business out of his house. He repaired for private customers and schools.
In 1984, Dale’s camera repair business grew to the point where he was able to get out of the electrician business and open a camera store that also did repairs. He borrowed money from his folks, took out a second mortgage on his house and started looking for a place for the store to be in.
Dale searched many different locations before landing in Roseville. Most places in the Sacramento area were not interested in leasing to him because he had zero retail experience. Finally, he came across the Sunrise and Cirby location. The landlords seemed interested in what he was doing and decided to give him a try. Many people had said that the store would not succeed because of the location. However, Dale grew up in Orange County in the 60’s and witnessed it grow to what is it today. He believed in the Roseville location. He opened Action Camera at the end of March 1984. From then on he would celebrate the store’s anniversary every year on April 1st!
Opening a camera store with not having any retail experience was Dale’s biggest challenge. However, he loved being able to sit at his repair table, fix cameras right in front of the customers. This kept the customers coming back for future purchases. Dale’s repair services became very sought after. He had contracts with almost all of the Roseville area schools, and with the Sac Bee.
After 27 years of working 6 days a week, Dale had become ready to retire. He had watched a big evolution in photography from film cameras to digital and he felt the business needed a change and a fresh face to help make that change and he found just the right guy to help him do that.
Charlie Landefeld worked for Dale while he was in high school. After completing college and obtaining a job in pharmaceutical sales for a few years, Charlie decided to come back to the Roseville area and see how Dale was doing. That is when the transition between Action Camera’s ownership began. Dale was ready to retire and take care of his wife, and Charlie was ready to help advance Action Camera into the digital era. Charlie purchased Action Camera from Dale in 2011.
Dale spends his time now watching his grand children grow up, helping his daughter and son – in -law with their business and making sure his lovely wife is healthy and happy. Dale is very proud of Charlie and what he has done with the store. And even more so now with the opening of Action Camera Reno.
Many of you knew Dale and many of you had Charlie help you out when he was an employee. Action Camera is a staple in the Roseville community and surrounding areas. We depend on our customers to keep us going. We depend on your business to expand our history even further. I hope you enjoyed this little piece of Action Camera history. I look forward to continuing to make history here, in Roseville and in Reno with all of you!
Becky with Action Camera Roseville.