Northeast Portland costume store gets ready to say goodbye after 127 years

Customers at Helen's Pacific Costumers try on costumes Thursday. (KATU Photo)

Customers have been flooding local costume store Helen's Pacific Costumers for the past few days hoping to get an experience that's becoming harder to find.

"It's definitely an end of an era," said Andrew Wilkins, who had fun Thursday trying on the many masks stacked among the many shelves.

"This is more of a magical experience. This is like, check out all these awesome costumes, and we can spend hours in here," said Christine Cone, who brought her 3-year old daughter to the store.

It's that experience that's kept the store running for 127 years in Northeast Portland.

Owner Pam Monette took over 35 years ago. She's seen the business change over the years.

"They're not the kind of quality that we have, and they're not made like we make them, and they don't have the service we give," said Monette of the growing popularity of costumes sold at big box stores and online.

While she's looking forward to retirement, she hopes the spirit of masquerading stays alive.

The store will close Halloween night. Monette said, besides a few award-winning costumes and collections, everything must go. The store will hold a garage sale the first weekend of November.

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