LOS ANGELES — Picking out clothes for her vintage shop is a passion for Marissa Gomez. She owns Echo Park Vintage, but she says shopping at Valentino’s Costume Group in North Hollywood hits different.

“Us being able to shop here is amazing,” Gomes said. That’s because for the past 25 years, Valentino's has been a costume rental company.

It’s where set costumers find items for movies such as "The Nutty Professor" and "Hail Cesar" or theatrical releases such as "Something Rotten" or "Beetle Juice."

The business had just survived the pandemic when the writers' strike started in May 2023.

Cidney Eavey is the floor manager at Valentino’s. She said the strike “halted most of our business. It shut down the entire industry.”

She adds that now, more than a year after the strike started, they still haven’t been able to recover, which is why they’re going out of business and having to sell all their merchandise.

“We started getting trickles of people in once the writers' strike was over, but we never fully recovered to how we were functioning before the strike and the pandemic,” Eaves added. 

Marc Meyer owns Faux Library Studio Props, also in North Hollywood, a prop house that specializes in books, decor and furniture. They also struggled after the writers' strike ended but have been able to stay in business.

He was down to one employee during the strike and has been able to hire back 70% of his staff but they’ve seen plenty of colleagues close up shop.

“It went on a couple of months too long. It was just too long for everyone to hang on,” Meyer said.

Meyer is still paying back rent to his landlord that he wasn’t able to pay during the strike. Currently, he’s paying a total of $100,000 a month.

As for Gomez, she’s hoping that by buying these items she’ll be preserving Hollywood history and also helping keep these items from ending in a landfill. She said she brings items back to life and adds that “I’m laundering them, I’m repairing them, I’m removing stains, I’m up cycling them.”

So while Valentino's may be closing, their clothes will live on for years to come.