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Moorpark Costume Shop Show Will Go On--in Newbury Park

July 19, 1999|ERIC C. SANITATE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The curtain will fall on the Costume Annex's 10-year run in Moorpark this month when the store's owner moves it to a Newbury Park shopping center.

Linda Bredemann, who has operated both the annex and the Moorpark Playhouse for more than a decade, said she hopes to move the store to a smaller location near the Borchard Road exit of Highway 101 around the end of the month.

Scrambling to organize a storeroom full of period costumes, eclectic props and rubber Halloween masks for a farewell clearance sale, Bredemann said she is excited about the move.

"A lot of people don't even know that I'm here at all," she said. "At least over there people will know."

The annex has moved twice and expanded once since it first opened as an extension of the Magnificent Moorpark Melodrama and Vaudeville Co. 10 years ago, she said.

The theater and costume rental outlet fell on hard times recently after the death of Bredemann's husband and a lengthy court battle with former tenants that resulted in the venue's name change to the Moorpark Playhouse.

Sparse attendance at a series of productions since last year resulted in Bredemann's filing for bankruptcy in April.

Bredemann sought help from the City Council shortly thereafter, seeking a grant that would allow her to keep running productions out of the 70-year-old theater.

But her request was denied, and the theater was closed.

Bredemann said the outlook is far from gloomy, however. She said filing for bankruptcy was a blessing in disguise that will allow her to move the Costume Annex and breathe new life into the playhouse.

"It's going well because we are going to be able to reorganize and open the theater under that," she said. "I'm very optimistic."

The theater has been put up for sale but will reopen soon. It is scheduled to house a Gold Coast Productions rendition of "Forever Plaid" from Aug. 7 to Sept. 26, Bredemann said.

"We're going to rent it out to other theater groups because I'm getting too old to put together seven melodramas a year anymore," she said. "Hopefully, whoever buys it will allow us to continue showing plays there."

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