Legendary Hollywood Costume Warehouse Closes, Sale Attracts Crowds

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Bargain hunters comb through 400,000 vintage and theatrical items at Valentino's Costume Group liquidation sale.

Just three blocks west of Burbank’s city limits, a legendary warehouse that has outfitted Hollywood’s imagination for decades is closing its doors permanently. Costumers, influencers, fashionistas, and vintage enthusiasts are descending upon the location, combing through myriad racks for outstanding deals on unique vintage items, high-quality theatrical and film costumes, and much more.

Valentino’s Costume Group, a veritable treasure trove housing over 400,000 costumes and assorted items, has been a part of the glamour of cinema, the drama of live theatre, and the sparkle of drag performances. Despite surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, two major Hollywood strikes, and the personal tragedy of losing a co-owner, the shop will permanently shut down.

A shopper tries on the over-sized head of a duck mascot costume for size.

Shon LeBlanc, the remaining owner and a passionate costume designer, has faced what he describes as a “perfect storm” of disasters, most recently with fifteen shows canceled in one week, leading to overwhelming debts. Although LeBlanc holds out hope for a last-minute savior, Valentino’s doors remain open for sales every Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until at least mid-June.

The shop itself is steeped in history, resembling a character as vivid as those it has dressed. The sprawling warehouse echoes with the stories of an ocean of artifacts, including jewelry, wigs, canes, and Los Angeles’ largest private collection of vintage hats. Shoppers can explore an extensive range of sizes, from plus-sized to children’s and petites, along with adaptive clothing for wheelchair users and little people. The condition of vintage clothing ranges from nearly new to delicate museum pieces, like 1860s gowns, though the majority of items post-1920 are wearable and in good condition, staff say. Additionally, sewing equipment, fabrics, patterns, furniture, a large jewelry case, and display cases are also available for purchase.

Legendary costume shop is liquidating its inventory at 5535 Cahuenga Boulevard in North Hollywood.

Visitor numbers can be high, leading to long lines to enter, but on a recent Saturday, the flow was smooth, allowing one shopper to swiftly acquire treasures such as two Michael Kors Collection sheath dresses in need of small repairs, a beautiful handmade Regency style dress worthy of a Bridgerton episode, and two shirts for just $45.

As Valentino’s closes after 20 years in business, it highlights the ongoing struggles faced by small businesses in the arts, underscoring the importance of supporting local and niche enterprises that enrich our cultural and historical landscapes.

Valentino’s Costume Group is located at 5535 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, accepting various forms of payment including cash, credit cards, Venmo, PayPal, Cashapp, and Zelle. Learn more about the sale in Valentino’s Liquidation Sale Facebook group.

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