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Fans Say Goodby to Western Store : North Hollywood: Nudie's, famous for outfitting Western movie heroes and country singers, is remembered as it closes its doors.

October 03, 1994|JEANNETTE REGALADO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — Nudie's Rodeo Tailors Inc., famed clothier to Western movie stars and country singers, is now a part of history.

The 6,600-square-foot store, which officially closed Friday after 47 years of dressing some of the best-known stars in Hollywood and Nashville, invited old and new customers to bid farewell to the legendary retailer Sunday afternoon.

"Isn't there anything left to buy?" asked Ellen Lotterman of North Hollywood as she peeked into the store before the party started.

"No, we are closed today, but you can come knock on the window Monday and we will let you in," said Jamie Nudie, 33, granddaughter of the famous owners.

"I have been going to this store since before she was born," said Lotterman, pointing to Jamie. "It is like a historical landmark."

"I'm even going to miss the big Palomino," she said.

The Palomino, a plastic horse that had stood out in front of the store at its current location since 1963, became a party decoration Sunday as patrons danced to country music and ate tacos and burritos Nudie's provided in the rear parking lot.

Nudie, formerly known as Nudie Cohn, died in 1984. He supplied custom-made costumes--often studded with rhinestones or diamonds--to the likes of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and Robert Redford. His widow, Bobbie, 81, had kept the business going since her husband's death. But as her health deteriorated, she decided to close the store and sell it rather than have someone take over the business.

Jamie Nudie said Sunday that she will inherit pictures of Nudie's famous customers that graced the store's walls. She said she plans to open a coffeehouse and display the 1,900 pictures there.

"I am sure my grandfather is here in spirit," said Jamie, who wore one blue and one red boot in honor of her grandfather who did the same.

Fans lined up to pay their respects to Nudie's widow, Bobbie, who made her grand entrance to the party in her husband's white, custom-made 1975 El Dorado convertible. As she entered, the car's cow and horse horn mooed and whinnied and the crowd cheered her as "Queen of the West."

Larry and Alice Richardson came from Castaic to pay homage to the man who made Western wear flashy.

"We have seen a lot of his clothes on display at a showcase at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum," said Larry, who met Nudie in 1980.

"We have bought a few things here ourselves and we just thought we'd come to pay our respects."

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