Frankel’s Costume Company® began in 1950 as a magic store at 808 Texas Ave. in downtown Houston, Texas. Proprietor Morty Frankel was already an established business man in Houston. The store named Morty’s Magic Mart was an integral part in the lives of many Houstonians who wanted a place to purchase, learn and be around all that was magic. The shop carried a wide array of tricks, illusions and other magic provisions. Along with the already impressive selection of magic were the jokes and gags, favorites of the always entertaining and playful Morty.
The costume aspect of the business began when a long-time magic customer requested some special attire be made for his act. Morty’s wife Leola, a trained seamstress, stepped in to help. One thing led to another and she became inundated with requests for more and more costumes. The inventory grew under Leola’s creativity. As the business increased, so did the space needed for the costumes. Frankel’s Costume Shop moved to Fannin Street where now is the Texas Medical Center. It outgrew that location and in the 1970′s Leola Moved closer to down town to 4815 Fannin Street.
In 1976 Leola decided her feet hurt and sold the business to her eldest son Lonnie and wife Terrie. Together Lonnie and Terrie carried the Frankel torch. Their efforts together increased Frankel’s
Costume Company’s costume inventory to well over 57,000 rental costumes. The store also boasts the largest Magic, Stage Makeup, Clown Supplies, and Theatrical Supplies inventory in the south.
As of March 1, 2000, Frankel’s Costume underwent its largest growth ever! Moving from 4815 Fannin Street to 2801 Polk Street, a 40,000 square foot building, occupying an entire city block, and only 1 mile east of Downtown Houston. In addition to the new facilities, Frankel’s Costume has enjoyed renewed vitality after sons Aaron and Eric came into the fold. Having left their careers in Architecture and The Culinary Arts, respectively, the sons hope to help carry the flame of a family tradition. With a third generation of Frankel’s, Frankel’s Costume promises increased growth and innovation for decades more to come.