On the corner of 1100 East and 1700 South, The Salt Lake Costume Company had displayed costumes in its windows since before I could remember. I moved to Salt Lake when I was three years old in 1972 and it was an established fixture back then. I remember driving past it in my grandmother’s 1968 white Chevy Impala. It was across the street from Rexall Drug, where my grandma got all her prescriptions.
I don’t know when it closed. It might have been as early as September. I didn’t notice until October that they were gone. The commercial real estate sign went up and I thought that they must be mad to close up right before Halloween. I also felt ripped off because I didn’t get a chance to buy up all their costumes.
The sad truth of the matter is, I never set foot into the place. I’m the kind of girl who gets her costumes at Home Depot more often than a costume store. That doesn’t stop me from frequenting the Halloween stores that pop up in abandoned store fronts during October, but I have never set foot into any costume shop. The Costume Closet on 700 East and 4500 South is another place that I love dearly, but have never gone into.
I feel a strange sense of guilt. Me, who loves Halloween and dressing up more than almost anyone I know, never gave any of my money to The Salt Lake Costume Company and now they are out of business. It’s all my fault.
They are stripping the store right down to the 2X4s: exposed brick on the walls and debris on the showroom floor. I peeked into the windows and clicked pictures until Mike urged me away like a rubber-necker at a car accident.