Monday, September 10, 2007

An Evening at The Magic Castle in Hollywood

Friday evening I had the privilege of visiting the Magic Castle in Hollywood. The Magic Castle is an incredible place. It's the home to the Academy of Magical Arts, and features performances by world famous magicians, illusionists, and sleight of hand artists. Built in 1908, the castle itself drips with history and has an old world charm to it's Victorian decor. Upon entering, there is a small room to check in at reception. I was visiting as the guest of a particular Hollywood actor who is a member, so I was quickly ushered to the front of the line. The "ante" room of the Castle has no visible doors to enter the club.
We were instructed to approach a wall of bookshelves and say "open sesame" to an owl that was sitting on the bookshelf. With those words, the bookshelf moved and exposed the hidden entrance to the club's inner sanctum. The decor of the Castle was mesmerizing, adding to the mystic. Walls are covered with magic memorabilia from throughout history, with portraits of the many great magicians and illusionists.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then went to the main magic show. After the big show, we wandered through the Castle to attend several other magic acts in rooms such as The Close Up Gallery, The Parlour of Prestidigitation, and The Palace of Mystery. These magicians were quite amazing and held my attention throughout the evening as I tried (in vain) to figure out how they did their tricks.

Above: The exterior of the Magic Castle

Above left: Although photographs inside ae forbidden, here is a rare interior photo of the "Houdini Room" & above right: outside the Castle, two lovely ladies flank me and actor/writer/producer Jimmy Van Patten.

I'm hoping to have an opportunity to return to the Magic Castle again someday to attend their "Houdini Seance". It is billed as an evening of elegance and mystery of a classic Victorian seance. It celebrates Harry Houdini, the "Handcuff King" who devoted much of his final years to the investigation of psychic phenomena, and who promised his beloved wife that he would, if he could find a way, send her a message from the other side.
-Rick Rockhill Dick Van Patten, Jimmy Van Patten


rhodester said...

Hey, we used to live down the street from there! My wife and I lived on Orchid, just off of Franklin, and I'd walk our dogs down Franklin right by the place a couple of times a day.

We were there for a year and never went.. how pathetic is THAT?


marlupe said...

I love magic, especially card tricks. This looks like a really fun place to have visited. I always try to see a magician show when I visit las vegas, there are a few shows that are really really good too. What a fun weekend you're having rick.

Lilian said...

I can't believe you manage to post every day and make it entertaining. I am starting to get addicted to it =) Because your stories usually relate to visiting other places and you share them in so much detail, with pictures to illustrate them, it seems as if you take the reader with you in your luggage ;o)

karma lennon said...

That is so amazing! I love stuff like this!

Lexa Roséan said...

It sounds like a great evening Rick! I especially like the revolving bookcase. Also Dr Wang in the sidebar is so great! Thanks for visiting my blog and I'm glad I checked in with yours :)

Palm Springs Savant said...

Thanks Lilian, that was sweet of you to say. I enjoy writing, blogging and sharing.

Lilian said...

I just realized you included me in your Blogroll ... Love it. Thanks! :oD

David said...

Happy Belated birthday! Sounds like youve had a great weekend of celebrating.

David said...

Happy Belated birthday! Sounds like youve had a great weekend of celebrating.

Darth Gateau said...

hey - how do?! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Ooh the glamour of California. I'll stop by your blog often in the hopes of sucking up some sunshine vicariously.
Just read your post about "Are You Being Served?". Last week my friends and I fell about laughing as we got the theme tune as a ring for our phones. Too gay for words but worth having to see the reactions of others when it goes off.

snowelf said...

Wow! That place looks incredible!! You Californians have all the fun! ;)

And what a great b-day weekend!!


somewhere joe said...

I had the worst crush on Houdini as a kid - or rather on his persona since he had long since taken his final bow. He was always nearly naked those old photographs, and often bound with chains... pretty heady stuff for when I was growing up back in the Juraissic era. I'm sure he was well aware of the sex appeal behind all that stripped-down daring-do.

I got a magic kit one Christmas. Got pretty good at its assortment of showy tricks, but grew disenchanted after I began to master the mundane methods behind the mystique. I still liked the cape and magic wand, and realized that the real magic was in the presentation, the theater. I'm still wowed by slight of hand, though, it's up close and personal audacity.

Dan said...

They have books in Hollywood? I thought they just take books and turn them into crappy movies?


How cool, that room with the owl! I used to want a fake wall such as that since seeing bedknobs and broomsticks as a young girl (There was another movie too, but the title presently escapes me)
If ever I make it back out to Cali-that'd be a marvelous place to stop by and say hi.
THanks for the lovely detail, how awesome-and the ladies weren't that bad looking either!
Hell, I'm secure, I can say it with confidence! :)

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Wow! Seems like a cool place. I'd never heard of it.

I had a friend who was into magic. Cool dude.

jillie said...

That would be soooo cool to be there. I went to the, shit...I can't remember the name of it now. But it's a house in San Jose that has a gazillion rooms and I was hoping to see or "feel" something spooky but no luck.

Damn...I am really going to go crazy now until I figure it out...

Winchester House!!!!! lol

later gater ;o)

Anonymous said...

dan is

Sounds like a wonderful evening Rick and the two blondes highlight the
I wonder how far back in history "open sesame" goes?
I wished you Happy Birthday over at Mona's but I'll say Happy Birthday Rick one more time.

LouLou! said...

What a wonderful place to visit! I'm jealous!

Canadian flake said...

Way cool. You must know that we live vicariously through your biggest adventure in this hicktown is NOT having to help the kids with homework..lmao

Thanks again for sharing.


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