Glitz, grandeur, and glamour were a staple of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but Detroit had its own examples of Hollywood flair. Downtown streets have a long history of highly stylized window displays featuring the latest fashions, but on occasion shoppers were treated to something extra special. Gone with the Wind, David O. Selznick’s cinematic epic starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland made its own unique appearance at Himelhoch’s Department Store, once in business on Woodward Ave. between Clifford St. and Park Ave. When Gone with the Wind premiered to Detroit’s viewing public at the United Artists Theatre in 1940, the people of Detroit did not know they would also receive an elaborate treat. Appearing in the windows and on the third floor, modeled in the Better Dress Shop, were displayed the very costumes from the film for everyone to admire.
Today, these same costumes have been preserved by the University of Texas at Austin, and the Himelhoch’s building has been converted into senior apartments. Thankfully, they are not gone with the wind.