Western’s fortunes began to ebb again in 1950, when the postwar boom ended. Graydon B. Howe became general manager, and soon hired a friend, John Golden, to help pull the business out of its financial hardships. The pair began a major overhaul of the company’s romantic, but obsolete, methods. Within a year of Golden’s arrival, Howe had a heart attack; in 1958 his ill health forced him to retire. Golden was named president, a position he held until he retired in 1989.
The 1960s were good for the company
Golden’s tenure as president saw major changes in production, including the end of the studio system. In the 1960s Western costumed major films like Cleopatra (1963), Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), and Hello, Dolly! (1969). While many film studios struggled during this decade of transition, Western was buoyed by television productions, often costuming as many as 80 at a time, including many of the most popular series of the era, such as The Munsters (1964-1966), Batman (1966-1968), and Star Trek (1966-1969). There were as many as 300 people on payroll to handle all the orders, and demand was so high that employees regularly worked six and seven days a week.
Employees—often numbering as many as 300 at one time—regularly worked six- and seven-day weeks to keep up with orders.