Palace Costume – The Halloween Costume Shop from “Beverly Hills, 90210″Oct 13th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
One location that I have been wanting to stalk for close to two decades now is the costume shop that was featured in the Season 2 episode of fave show Beverly Hills, 90210 titled “Halloween”. Not only was that episode one of my most beloved of the entire series, but, as has been made blatantly apparent by now, Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and I was positively DYING to wander through the very same clothing racks that the 90210 gang had wandered through. So when fellow stalker Geoff, from the 90210Locations website, tracked the place down a while back, I just about died of excitement and immediately added it to my Haunted-Hollywood-To-Stalk list. Being that the store’s actual name – Palace Costume Company – had been visibly displayed in the episode, I am highly embarrassed that I was not able to find the place myself. I mean honestly, what kind of a stalker am I? Anyway, I finally dragged the Grim Cheaper out to the store two weekends ago and, as you can imagine, I could NOT have been more excited!
Palace Costume, which was originally a vintage clothing retailer, was founded in the 1960s by a woman named Melody Barnett in a storefront on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. The shop was the very first vintage clothing store to be located on Melrose, a street that is now rife with thrift emporiums and vintage boutiques. In 1970, Palace Costume moved to a 2,000-square-foot space on Fairfax Avenue and began exclusively renting out authentic vintage clothing to film and production crews. According to this October 1998 Los Angeles Business Journal article, Barnett has become so successful in the entertainment industry that she has had to add about 1,000 square feet of space to her store every single year due to her rapidly growing collection. Today, her 36,000-square-foot emporium houses over half a million different pieces, making it one of the largest vintage clothing collections in the entire country. Melody’s costumes have appeared in thousands upon thousands of productions, including Titanic, Chinatown, A Beautiful Mind, Blow, Frida, Pleasantville, Boogie Nights, Evita, Forrest Gump, What’s Love Got to Do with It, and all three Austin Powers movies. In 1998, Barnett had a wooden and stucco façade constructed around her store for security reasons, so the place looks quite a bit different today than it did onscreen on 90210.
In the “Halloween” episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, Brenda Walsh (aka my girl Shannen Doherty), Kelly Taylor (aka Jennie Garth), Dylan McKay (aka Luke Perry), and the rest of the 90210 gang head out to what they call “Hollywood Costume” to pick out some costumes for a Halloween party they are attending that night. As I mentioned above, the name “Palace Costume Co.” is blatantly visible on the storefront in the scene. Yes, I am a blonde!
It is while there that Brenda and Dylan find their amazeballs Bonnie and Clyde costumes. It has ALWAYS been my dream to dress up as Brenda and Dylan dressed up as Bonnie and Clyde for Halloween, but somehow I do not think the GC would go for that. Although this year we are dressing up 90210-style, but I am saving that information for a future post!
Sadly, Palace Costume is not open to the public, but is only open to industry professionals. Words cannot express how heartbroken I was when we arrived and saw the “not open to the public” sign on the front door. I was literally almost in tears (OK, not really, but I was pretty bummed) as I had so badly wanted to peruse through the countless racks of period clothing like Brenda and Donna had done on 90210. And I had also wanted to verify if the episode had actually been filmed inside of the store or at a different location.
Because I hate making phone calls (I know, I know – I am weird!), I enlisted the help of Mike, from MovieShotsLA (who is doing his own Halloween locations theme this month), to call Palace Costume and ask Melody if any 90210 filming had been done inside of the store. She confirmed that indeed it had. And if you look at the above screen capture from the episode and compare it to the photograph of the inside of Palace Costume, which I got off of the company’s website, you can see that the light fixtures and ceiling do, in fact, match. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to go inside of that place! I am a member of SAG, doesn’t that count for anything??
Big THANK YOU to Geoff, from the 90210Locations website, for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Palace Costume, from the “Halloween” episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, is located at 835 North Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. You can visit the store’s official website here. Palace Costume is sadly not open to the public, but is only open to members of the entertainment industry.