The life of costumes after filming. Myths and reality

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, after filming costumes were sent to warehouses, where they were stored on ordinary metal hangers, where it was torn under their weight. Sprawled fabric, if possible, was altered and repainted. Thus, something almost unrecognizable was made from an old costume.

What has miraculously survived in Hollywood studios today is a rarity that is now kept in museums or private collections. And before, the costume did not attach importance after a filmed movie. The costume worked the way out. “Stop! Cut! Thanks to all!”. To throw away.

In 1962, one of the directors of Universal Studios, James Tumblin, once saw Scarlett’s dress from the movie Gone With the Wind on the floor. It turned out they were going to throw it out. Tumblin bought it for $ 20 and sold it at auction for $ 137,000 53 years later.

In the late 60s, when studio production began to decline and many studios were forced to go into debt to somehow stay afloat, they organized real auctions, selling costumes, props, and even antiques. For example, in the early 70s, the famous MGM studio arranged a sale of the costumes of their archival funds.

Now especially remarkable costumes are handed over to museums. Most often these are museums of cinema, history of costume, or museums of applied arts. There are museums in New York (Metropolitan), Los Angeles (FIDM Museum), London (Victoria and Albert Museum).

The Berlin Deutsche Kinemathek boasts a large collection (over 3,300 garments and archival materials) by Marlene Dietrich. The Cinematheque Francaise Museum houses over a thousand costumes from Hollywood and French films.