Crown Uptown Theatre owner to open Uptown Emporium & Costume Shop

WICHITA — Perhaps you’d like to be one of the “Church Basement Ladies” for Halloween or one of the “Guys and Dolls” characters.

Pick your favorite Crown Uptown Theatre show from the last 32 years, and there’s a good chance theater owner Robert Brinkley will have a costume from it for you to rent.

Brinkley is opening Uptown Emporium & Costume Shop in the former Persian Bazaar space next to the Crown Uptown at Douglas and Hillside.

That also happens to be just across the street from where Campbell’s Costume Emporium once was.

“We’ve kind of kicked the idea around for a long time,” Brinkley says. “A lot of our stock . . . just sits around.”

Customers will be able to rent costumes and related items.

“We’ll use it as a costume shop for our shows, too,” Brinkley says. “It’ll support what we do at the Crown.”

Barb Schoenhofer, a popular Wichita actress for many years, will manage Uptown Emporium.

She says the shop will offer theatrical supplies that actors might need as well.

Schoenhofer says that instead of selling costumes in a bag, which may contain items a customer does or doesn’t need, Uptown Emporium can help personalize each rental.

Another longtime area actor, Craig Green, will have his Bling It On Jewelry within Uptown Emporium.

Green often sells his glass jewelry at intermission at the Crown Uptown and Mosley Street Melodrama.

Eventually, Uptown Emporium will sell dance apparel and leotards.

First, Brinkley says his goal is to get open in time for Halloween.

Look for a grand opening Sept. 18.