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Established in 1963 with a charter membership of 150, the Magic Castle is the clubhouse of the Academy of Magical Arts, an association of over 5,000 professional magicians from around the world. It is located at:

7001 Franklin Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90029

and is open to Magician and Associate members of the Academy who are at least 21 years old. Members are allowed to bring guests; the dress code is jacket and tie for men and (as always) much more ambiguous and open for women.

The Magic Castle features a restaurant with Victorian-style dining rooms (reservations required), as well as several open bars and friendly cocktail waitresses who take orders for tasty beverages before shows at each of the Castle's three performance venues:

  • The Palace of Mystery, a full-size theater well-suited to stage magic, comedy, illusion, and specialty magic acts.

  • The Parlour of Prestidigitation, a medium-size showroom especially well-suited to magicians relaxing and having a good time showing off to a friendly audience, which is what the Castle is really all about.

  • and, last but least only in size,The Close-Up Gallery, which seats only 22 guests and (in my experience) one incredibly skilled sleight-of-hand artist.

Other attractions at the Magic Castle include Invisible Irma, the piano-playing ghost who holds court behind the Main Bar, taking requests and answering questions with songs, and the Houdini Seance Room, where Academy members and their guests can make reservations for a dinner concluding with a full seance attempt to contact the late great magician.

The Castle also offers magic classes and can be reserved for special occasions, like weddings or parties.

More contact information:
(323) 851-3313 for the Castle proper, and www.magiccastle.com
(213) 630-3149 for information about magic classes
(323) 851-3313 for information about membership in the Academy of Magical Arts

Personal anecdote/review:

Senior math majors at Harvey Mudd College are traditionally invited to an evening at The Magic Castle by a faculty member of the Academy of Magical Arts. I went on April 2, 2001 and had a great time. The food was great, the drinks superb (and both made the magic even better). We began the evening with Monte Smith in the Close-Up Gallery, proceeded to dinner, then Dimmare in the Palace, then the amazing Woody Pittman in the Parlour, followed by another parlour act (John Shylock, a featured entertainer at W's inauguration festivities, though I tried not to hold that against him), and finally "the magician's magician", Daryl in the Close-Up Gallery. I developed a new appreciation for the art of magic, especially close-up sleight-of-hand. And a good time was had by all.

Sources: Magic Castle show schedule brochure, www.magiccastle.com, and the aforementioned visit to the Magic Castle on April 2, 2001.

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