The theme of Meadville’s Halloween parade, which is known as the largest nightime Halloween parade in the state, nearly always has an impact on locals’ costume choices.
This year’s parade theme of “Cartoons on Parade” may be fueling requests at the Academy Theatre in Meadville, where managing director Irene Kipp said “we’ve gotten a lot of requests for cartoons like the Flintstones.”
The Academy is a go-to Halloween rental destination for may locals because “if we don’t have something, we can sometimes make something and assemble it in our shop,” Kipp said.
Rental fees depend on the extent of the costume and can run between $5 and $25. A $5 cleaning fee is added on pick-up and renters must pay a deposit equal to the renting price of an item or set, which will be refunded upon the costume’s return.
“We have a wide variety of costumes available,” said Kipp. “We also rent gowns, tuxedos and suits.”
Of course, some costumes defy yearly trends, as both Meadville Community Theatre and the Wal-Mart in Vernon Township show.
“We’re asked mostly for period pieces,” said Susan Crandall, president of Meadville Communty Theatre. “We have turn-of-the-century bonnets and furs as well as 1920 costumes and flappers’ outfits.”
MCT charges no particular rental fees, but instead requests a donation be made to the theatre. Halloween revelers looking to rent will likely be sponsored by a board member who will ensure the costume’s safe return.
Out in Vernon Township, “licensed costumes are always top sellers,” said Veronica Marshall, Wal-Mart representative. “The latest in movies and video games continue to be what sells.”
This year’s summer blockbusters like “The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises” fuel already blazing-hot market trends of superheroes and pop culture items.
“Captain America, Spider-Man and Batman continue to be big for us,” said Marshall.
Traditional Halloween staples also flourish despite market nuances, even in the wake of massive Marvel franchises.
“The classics like witches and goblins are always popular with our customers,” said Marshall, adding that merchandise may vary from store to store depending on customer needs.
Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.