A Stranger Things fan in the dark about the purpose of a darkroom as featured in the series has gone viral thanks to nostalgic fans lamenting their age amid an era of digital cameras.
The outdated technique, used to develop photos, is seen multiple times in the ’80s nostalgia-packed series thanks to character Jonathan Byers, who uses his high school’s darkroom in season 1 and 3.
The room, lit only by a red glow, caught the eye of a viewer unfamiliar with the process, who then took to the online forum StackExchange to ask about the purpose of the “red room” featured in the Netflix show.
“In Stranger Things, we frequently see Jonathan go inside this to ‘refine’ his photos or something. I don’t quite understand what happens here,” the user wrote. “He puts the photo in water, and somehow this makes it more clear? An example is in the first season when he refines Barbara’s photo and sees a little bit of the Demogorgon. Is this an old film technique, and if so, what is it called?”
The answers in the forum were initially helpful, explaining to the confused fan that before digital cameras were invented, people had to process their photos in chemical baths in rooms devoid of light in order to develop photographic materials, like camera film, that were light-sensitive.
Other fans joked about similar technology of a bygone era, including VCRs and landline telephones.
“Dear God, please don’t let them find a VHS tape or landline phone, the kids will think it’s some sort of witchcraft!” one wrote.