Magic Castle, Hollywood 1980s
The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, is a clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts and only members and their guests are allowed to enter. Housed in a former private residence built in 1909 by banker and philanthropist Rollin B Lane, the magnificent building, resembling a French chateau, remained a family home until 1955 before being converted into a public space. The Magic Castle opened its doors in 1963.
Because it is a private members club, only those lucky enough to enter know exactly what the atmosphere is like but those who do go say that it is …magical. The lobby of the Castle has no visible doors to the interior, and visitors must say a secret phrase to a sculpture of an owl to gain access, exposing the entrance to the club.
There are impromptu performances of sleight of hand card tricks and items made to disappear before your eyes, as well as fun touches like an ‘invisible’ piano player called Irma – who takes musical requests. There are three theaters, a full-service restaurant, bars, a library and other meeting spaces. Orson Welles, Steven Martin and Johnny Carson are among the many celebrities who have performed at the Magic Castle. One of the most memorable performers was Dai Vernon (1894-1992), a Canadian-born magician whose sleight of hand techniques, especially with card tricks and close-up magic, was legendary and who was a mentor to many magicians.
The Academy of Magical Arts is a nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion and development of the art of magic. The Castle itself was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1989.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.