In the heart of Hollywood, just two blocks from the Graham’s Chinese theatre, the Walk of Fame and the Dolby Theatre (where the Academy Awards are held every year) stands The Magic Castle. An old Hollywood mansion built in 1909, the Academy of Magical Arts made the castle its club house in 1963. Since that time, every magician’s dream has been to visit this epicenter of our art. It is a member’s only club with a strict, formal dress code. For the last four years, I have had the honor and privilege of being a member of this prestigious club. Though my wife and I have lost count of the number of visits we have made to The Castle, every time we speak the secret password that reveals the hidden entrance, we feel a sense of awe entering this elite club house.
From the outside it appears exactly as it is named, a castle. Driving up to the valet only entrance you enter into a very small lobby with bookcases and a small reception desk. With exception to the small gift shop, there are no other doors besides the one you entered through. Once the receptionist approves your party’s entrance you walk over to a statue of an owl (in homage to the clubs logo) and whisper the secret password, to which a hidden doorway opens up. Walking through this entrance, past a suit of armor and into the main bar you instantly have a sense that you are in a special place.
Vintage paintings of revered magicians adorn the walls, as well as some paintings with moving eyes and even a Houdini fish take with live eels. Pieces of Hollywood yesteryear can be found throughout the interior, including the backdrop from Jonny Carson’s tonight show and the bar seen in Hello Dolly.
Within The Castle walls spanning three levels are three main show rooms: the Close-Up Gallery (seating only 22 people), the Parlor of Prestidigitation (for mid-sized acts) and the Palace of Mystery (featuring larger illusions). On weekends, there are two additional show rooms, the Peller Theater and the W.C. Field’s Bar. Besides the three main show rooms, magic-members are often seen performing for guests or working on moves with other magicians at random tables scattered throughout building. It is fair to say that no other club in the world hosts the same amount of magic as does The Magic Castle.
This is why I feel so honored to be a member of this amazing place!
Whether you are a magician or simply a fan of the art, The Magic Castle is an experience not to miss!
For more info visit: www.MagicCastle.com