5,000 outfits for sale as famous fancy dress shop closes after 50 years
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Fifty years of fancy dress and tricks are coming to an end as a landmark shop prepares for its final turn - a disappearing act.
Owner George Czykieta, 71, is bringing down the curtain on his thousands of outfits and props, spanning tinsel wigs, jokes, make-up and accessories.
Joker’s Corner in Nelson Road Central has been a stand-out business with its colourful facade for almost half a century, helping local folk to celebrate in comedy style.
Mr Czykieta, said the shop had given him a good living and plenty of laughs but that the time was right to take a bow.
He said changing holiday and shopping habits had seen custom fall away with more competition and less demand dealing it a double blow
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With some 5,000 costumes crammed into five rooms winding down would take a while and he is open to offers.
In the meantime his fashion graduate daughter Sharlene, 27, helped by son Darty, 48, will continue running the shop.
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Mr Czykieta who came to Yarmouth with his Polish family more than 55 years ago, said the whole family had been involved.
In the early days his late wife Jackie would make many of the costumes complemented by hand-made wigs from London.
The shop started life as a tropical fish and pet store with a sideline in jokes and tricks.
But as demand from hotels and holiday makers grew Mr Czykieta switched the focus and Joker’s Corner was born.
In its heyday it supplied many of the hotels, casinos, and bingo halls putting on party nights for guests and staff, and making an effort to create memorable experiences.
The great grandfather, who lives in Southtown, said the business had always prided itself on personal service, dashing across the county to deliver large last-minute orders in a myriad of sizes and opening at all hours to help people out.
He enjoyed the banter and camaraderie with customers including regular patron Joe Pasquale who still drops by.
In all 50 years they had only lost around 10 costumes to damage.
Mr Cyzkieta, a trained confectioner and occasional strip-a-gram said he had plenty to keep him busy when the shop shut.
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