Omaha costume store struggles after COVID canceled plays

The show could be over for an Omaha costume business.
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 4:05 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The show could be over for an Omaha costume business. Ibsen Costume Gallery has provided costumes for theatrical productions across the metro, but COVID-19 has stopped almost all live performances in our area and that puts the decades-old costume store in jeopardy.

Right now, Ibsen’s costume gallery is open on a limited basis, they say if things don’t change soon these doors won’t open at all.

Dwayne Ibsen has provided costumes for theatrical productions throughout the metro for 40 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the lights off on live theater in the area, Dwayne estimates that the virus has cost his business from 80-90 shows this year.

“Well its almost totally stopped the business we’ve lost all the spring shows, all the summer shows, and probably the fall shows,” said Ibsen. “We’re just hoping we can get through until January and then things will pick up again.”

Ariel Ibsen, with the costume gallery, said, “But when the virus began all of those shows were canceled, so even if the costumes went out to the theatres they didn’t get used and they came back to us all in the bags so because of that we did do our portion of it but they didn’t get to use them and we didn’t charge a lot of them.”

That has left Dwayne with nothing to smile about. He says if things don’t change quickly his 40-year-old business might not get any older.

“We would probably close and sell everything at that point but we’re not thinking about that right now, we’re concentrating on keeping everything going,” said Dwayne.

Dwayne was able to keep the staff working through June with federal help, right now they have a Go Fund Me page with a goal of $50,000. That would keep the shop going until January and allow them to bring back their employees.

The show could be over for an Omaha costume business.

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