Showtime Costume Shop

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Showtime is your year round costume source!
 Two articals from the Commercial News in Danville Illinois.

Showtime Costume Shop’s Ron Smith, left, helps Bill Clutter, the shop’s marketing manager, put on a foam and latex mask.

Published: Commercial News
Date: October 06, 2007 11:15 pm

Just like Halloween every day

Costume shop lets imaginations run wild


DANVILLE — Whoopee cushions, flying monkeys, limitless costume choices — oh my!

It’s just another day, though, at Showtime, 3815 N. Vermilion St., where employees are encouraged to dress up in one of the store’s many costumes.

On this day, Sherlock Holmes, the Wizard of Nod and a medieval queen roamed the Danville shop.

The store, which formerly housed The Chifforobe, has been a popular place lately with area high school students looking for unique outfits to wear during homecoming dress-up days.

Patti Balla, a senior at Bismarck-Henning High School, shopped for blue hair coloring to wear for extreme blue and silver day at the school on Thursday.

“I’ve been in here before looking for a Halloween costume,” she said.

With Halloween only a few weeks away, business is certain to be brisk at Showtime.

The way the store looks now is a far cry from this spring.

“There was a bunch of boxes and nothing else,” Bill Clutter, marketing director at Showtime, said. “We’ve grown a lot.”

Clutter, who sported a devil’s tail at work that day, said the store offers costumes for all ages.

“We have everything from infants and toddlers to children and adults,” he said.

Unisex costumes, such as bunnies and gorillas, suit both men and women.

Custom costumes

The biggest part of a Showtime employee’s job is helping customers figure out what they want to dress up as.

“One couple came into the store and didn’t know what they wanted to go to a party as,” he said.

Clutter suggested one of the store’s “couple costumes.” The man ended up dressing as a gorilla and his wife was a banana.

Another costume popular with dating couples is Sonny and Cher. Or if two guys are going to a party, the store offers a Dumb and Dumber ensemble.

Cathy Rademacher, owner of Showtime, said sometimes if someone cannot figure out what they want to dress up as, “we send them to the rental books, and it gives them ideas.

“We create and make costumes for people, and we’ll always special order cos-tumes,” she said.

So many choices

The choices, however, can be overwhelming.

Six dozen colorful wigs line one wall of the shop, as well as real hair and felt mustaches and Santa Claus beards. Lightweight foam masks that contort with the person’s facial expressions are unique to the costume shop.

Wigs for chemotherapy patients also may be special ordered at the store.

“We’re the only ones in town who carry red hats for the Red Hat Society Ladies,” Clutter said.

“We also sell gag and magic tricks, everything from handheld tricks to big theatrical productions and haunted house props,” he said.

Showtime will supply the masks and makeup for this year’s Danville Jaycee’s haunted house.

“They’ve been able to buy everything in Danville this year,” Clutter said of the project.

While hundreds of costumes are for sale, there are hundreds more for rent, including shoes and accessories and a theatrical quality Darth Vader that rents for $150.

“Rentals are for 24 hours and a security deposit is required by credit card or cash,” Clutter said.

“It’s insurance they’re going to come back with the costume,” he said.

Beyond basics

On another wall, a full-size faux corpse with a hollowed out chest is displayed. It serves as a beverage cooler at parties.

“It’s an ice chest, literally,” Clutter said. “It can be rented for $75. For a Halloween party, it’s really hilarious.”

Showtime employees also can be hired to arrive at an event as a character.

“They can book us to come dressed up as a character,” Clutter said. “We call it character delivery.”

The shop also accepts orders for custom-made costumes, such as for madrigal dinners, school plays and community theater.

Rademacher, who hails from Joliet and operated a costume shop there before moving to Rossville, said she was surprised Danville didn’t have a costume shop already because there are so many theater groups in the area.

“We’ve had calls for costume plots, where they tell us what characters they need to dress,” she said.

Dawn Ferguson, guest director for Hoopeston Artistic Repertory Theatre’s production of Wizard of Oz in August, said the community theater group called on Showtime for its costuming needs.

“They came and did the fittings, and everything was ready and done on time,” she said.

The cowardly lion’s costume was a custom-made creation.

“The lion costume was custom and looked fantastic,” she said.

“He was a big guy, and they made a costume of thinner material with pockets to place cool compresses in,” she said.

Ferguson said Rademacher made helpful suggestions and showed the cast how to use professional theater makeup.

Before Showtime, Ferguson said ART relied on handmade costumes and donations or used minimal costumes.

“This was the first production where we had professional costumes,” she said. “Everything looked authentic.”

All made up

For some, a costume is not complete without makeup.

“It depends how far a customer wants to go with their costume,” Rademacher said.

Rademacher and Ron Smith, who was dressed as the Wizard of Nod on this day, are the shop’s makeup artists.

Rademacher and Smith can show customers how to apply and create special effects with the professional theater makeup or customers can schedule an appointment to have their makeup applied by an artist.

“It’s not hard to do makeup,” she said. “We’ll show them how to do it.

“We also do airbrush tattoos for Halloween or we can do the whole face,” said Rademacher, who has been a makeup artist for 15 years.

Smith said he loves applying makeup and creating special effects, such as broken noses, bruises, bleeding cuts and road rash.

“I can use the skills I have,” he said. “I love talking to the customers and helping them with their costume.

“It’s like Halloween every day.”


Showtime is open from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

From Oct. 15 through Nov. 3 the store will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On Halloween, the store will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Published: Commercial News
Date: October 06, 2007 11:08 pm

Local residents love to dress up


DANVILLE — Don’t be surprised if a pirate or superhero shows up on your door-step Halloween night.

This year, retailers anticipate young and old alike will want to dress up as their favorite characters from the silver screen, such as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman or a Star Wars Storm Trooper.

“Everyone is anticipating pirates or flappers,” Cathy Rademacher, owner of Show-time costume shop in Danville, said.

“Sexy is hot,” she said, explaining that many traditional adult costumes, such as Snow White, have become more revealing with short skirts and bare midriffs.

Not to worry, though. If a sexy Alice in Wonderland isn’t your cup of tea, Showtime still offers traditional, full-length costumes for rent.

Or, in Clarice Wahlfeldt’s case, a costume that resembled a slice of pepperoni pizza was just what the Danville High cafeteria assistant manager ordered.

Wahlfeldt thought she would have to create a homemade costume for Wednesday’s dress-up day during DHS’ homecoming week — that is until she found Show-time while driving up North Vermilion Street to Wal-Mart.

“I didn’t know the place even existed,” she said, adding that a costume of a giant car air freshener tree in the store’s window caught her eye. “They took the time to help me find the perfect costume.”

Last year, Wahlfeldt created her own “static cling” costume for homecoming week.

“I had stuff pinned to my shirt and my britches,” she said.

“Every year, people look forward to what I’m going to wear,” she said.

“I put (costumes) on for my children — I’m dedicated to my children,” she said of the DHS students. “I want to share homecoming with them.”

Wahlfeldt was overwhelmed by the costume choices at Showtime.

“The rental costumes are something any person can afford,” she said.

“First, I was going to go as the Operation game, and then I tried on a Pez dispenser outfit,” she said.

But it was Lindsey Betout, a Showtime employee, who suggested Wahlfeldt dress as a slice of stuffed crust pepperoni and cheese pizza, just like the high school cafeteria menu offering.

“We thought it would be fun to dress her up as a food item,” said Betout, who was dressed as a medieval queen at work on Wednesday.

“When I saw it I said, ‘I’ll take it,’ right off the bat,” Wahlfeldt said of the pizza costume.

“I represent food, and I wanted something that represented the food service,” she said.

Not only was her costume a hit with the students, but it earned Wahlfeldt first-place recognition among the cafeteria workers.

“It was worth it to see the excitement and enjoyment on the faces of the kids and the kitchen staff,” she said.

Cindy Houmes’ daughter, Ashley, a senior at Hoopeston Area High School, decided to dress up as Superwoman for the high school’s red, white and blue day during homecoming spirit week.

In a nod to the school’s Cornjerker mascot, Ashley topped off her superhero outfit with a hat in the shape of an ear of corn.

“The kids got a kick out of it,” Houmes said.

Cheryl Lee Denton of Danville said she felt like “Laverne and Shirley and Grease all rolled into one” when she went to the sock hop at the VFW in Danville last week-end.

Like Wahlfeldt, she noticed Showtime on the way to Wal-Mart and Menards one day.

“I heard they had black-and-white oxford shoes, so I stopped by,” she said.

Denton strolled out of Showtime in a rented ‘50s costume that included a blouse, poodle skirt, chiffon scarf, saddle shoes and cat-eye glasses.

“I even had bobby socks with a black poodle on them,” she said.

“They fixed me up,” she said. “It was great. It was really fun.

“Dressing up like that brought back a lot of nostalgia” Denton said. “I hope they (VFW) have another dance so I can rent that outfit again.

“I’m 62, and people said I was cute that night.”