National News

Portland costume shop open since 1890 closing its doors

Posted November 1, 2017 12:53 p.m. EDT

— It's been open since 1890, but now an iconic Portland costume store is shutting its doors for good.

Helen's Pacific Costumers on Northeast 75th Avenue and Glisan has been around since 1890, but after 127 years, the shop is closing.

Inside the shop is a world of fantasy filled with thousands of custom-made creations, from superheroes and matadors to former presidents and killer bees.

Owner Pam Monette told FOX 12 there's just too much competition.

Monette started working at the store 50 years ago as a costume steamer and said after all that time she's heartbroken to see it all go.

"It's sad. It's a great loss, not only to me and the people who have worked here or volunteered here during the years, but also for the city of Portland," she said. "We're the last one."

Customers sought out final treasures at the shop Tuesday, its last day of business. Many told FOX 12 they had been coming to the shop for years and for more than just dressing up for Halloween.

"I'm kind of sad. I've used this particular custom shop for a very long time for different things that we have at our church and our restaurant," customer E.D. Mondaine said.

"When I heard they were closing, I thought I need these pieces for my costume box because Portland doesn't just dress up for Halloween," customer Helen Kate Peterson added. "We've got New Year's masquerades - there are events all over the city you can play dress up for."

There will be one last big sale at the store this weekend, where everything must go, and the building housing the shop is already on the market.

As for Monette, she said she will have a lifetime of memories, as well as one special costume.

"Joseph's Amazing Technicolor coat - it's the only thing I'm keeping."