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1970s Las Vegas costume rental business closing its doors

September 15, 2018
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In this Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 photo, Martin Sadowitz, owner of American Costumes, poses for a photograph in his store in Las Vegas. American Costumes in Las Vegas marks 40 years of business this year. But the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the milestone is bittersweet. It’s now having a store-closing sale. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A longtime costume business in this city of glitz and sequins is closing its doors.

Three thousand costumes, 700 hats and 500 wigs cover American Costumes’ 4,000-square-feet (372-square-meter) storefront, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .

Martin Sadowitz’s costume rental business has been helping customers transform themselves for 40 years. But instead of celebrating, the store started holding a closing sale last month.

The landlord of the strip mall where American Costumes is located, the Gold & Beyond consignment shop, is expanding into the costume store’s space.

Sadowitz, 71, opened American Costumes in the 1970s after multiple requests to rent the outfit he wore as a singing telegram.

Themed corporate events, conventions and film crews have brought business to Sadowitz.

Those participating in Burning Man have come to his store looking for goggles to wear at the windy, dusty counter-culture festival in northern Nevada.

Although he hates to say it, celebrity deaths also cause an uptick in sales. Sadowitz remembers the impact Michael Jackson’s 2009 death and Prince’s 2016 death had on business. He expected his John McCain masks to become popular after the Arizona senator’s recent death.

Some of his most well-known customers included longtime Vegas stars Siegfried & Roy. The store also sold Elvis and gorilla costumes for a Penn & Teller TV series.

His Elvis and Madonna costumes are among his most popular. “Every man should be Elvis once in a lifetime,” Sadowitz said.

The business has started an account on the eBay e-commerce marketplace. But Sadowitz doesn’t want to take his current inventory with him when he leaves the strip mall.

“I want to avoid the trials and tribulations of moving,” he said.


Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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