The Magic Castle is a private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts. They are trying to keep the advancement of magic alive and to promote it as much as they can. The Castle is located at 7001 Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, California.
I never knew there was even a Magic Castle that existed. Before we left we were talking to our group of friends about our trip and we said we were going to Hollywood. One of my friend’s cousins said you should check out the Magic Castle. Then he explained he was a member and could get us in. You either had to be a member to get in or a member could give you guest passes to get in. So he gave us some passes to enter the Magic Castle.
You don’t necessarily have to be a magician to join the club. You can just be a magic fan or enthusiast. You must be at least 21 years old to join. If you are younger than that, you can become a member, but with only limited access of the castle.
There are several different memberships that you can join under. There is the Magician Members for the regulars that perform magic. You can get the Associates Members membership for those that perform magic as a hobby or those who just are interested in learning more about the Magic Club. The Honorary Life Membership and VIP Membership are only for world famous magicians. Last but not least there is the Junior Membership for the younger magicians between the ages of 13 and 21 years old.
The Magic Castle opened its doors in 1963. It was started by a two men by the names of Milt and Bill Larson Jr. whose father William Larsen Sr. was a magician. The castle is known as “The Mecca for Magicians” and today there are more than 5,000 members. The castle is a beautiful Victorian house that is located at the bottom of the Hollywood Hills.
The inside of the castle is amazing! From the beautiful cherry wood walls, stained glass windows, and funky carpeting and floors, the whole atmosphere is fun and interesting. The walls are covered with paintings of different magicians framed in large antique gold frames and old posters and newspapers articles about magic acts.
As you walk into the castle you enter a small room with a fireplace and a bookshelf. To get in you enter through the bookshelf by saying open sesame to a gold owl statue. It is like a secret entrance. Then you enter the first bar area called the Grand Salon that has quite a few bar stools to sit right at the bar. Above the bar is a giant old style chandelier.
Right off of the bar area is a small room that is called the close up gallery. In here they have magicians performs tricks. The room only has a maximum capacity of twenty-two people. So this is used for basically the close up tricks. Hopefully you get a good look on how the trick is done! No matter how much I tried to figure out the tricks the magician was performing I couldn’t.
Then there is another large bar area called the Inner Ballroom where there is also a seating area with small tables and chairs. This one is white with large gold leaves on it. Behind the bar are beautiful stained glass windows with shelves in from of them with liquor bottles and glassed. Then in the middle of everything is large open floor. The floor is maroon and tan striped. It can be used for lectures, dances, or anything else they need it for. The ballroom is absolutely beautiful and very elegant.
Behind the Inner Ballroom is the Library area. Here is where members have access to hundreds of books and videos tapes that help teach basic or advance magic tricks. There are also books giving you tips on how to better your performance or books on the history of magic. This area is a goldmine for any magician that wants to learn more about magic.
Then in another room in the area is the Albert Peller Theatre. In here they can fit about 80 people. It is another room used for performances and also private parties that you can book at the castle. Then there is a set of stairs that leads you to the larger showrooms like the Palace of Mystery and the Parlour of Prestidigitation.
Up here is another small bar that looks like it is a large ticket counter. It is very cool. There is room for about 15 people at the bar and it leaves room for quite a few more people standing in the area. Even though there are a lot of bar areas in the castle, they are all so different and unique in their own way.
The next area you walk into is the large and very elegant dining room areas. The tables are spread out into 4 different rooms that each have their own style and look to them. You can fit a lot of people up here all at once. They hold a lot of major events up in this area.
On the dining room menu they serve items like Magic Castle Chili, King Salmon, lamb, prime rib, Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon Steak Tips, oysters, crab dip and many other items. They also have different specials depending on what day it is. They have fresh fish specials nightly.
Then behind all of the dining rooms is yet another small bar area. This room is known as the owl room. You can fit about 20 or so people in this room. There is a large antique grandfather clock in here and the whole room is decorated with a large collection of owls.
The next room is a small room that has a table that fits about 10 people in there. It is called the Houdini See Room. It has been known that Houdini has appeared to a few guests in this room before. You can rent this room for a group and have a Houdini Seance which includes dinner. Then after dinner you have a seance to see if you can contact Houdini’s spirit!
Then in the cellar of the house is the Hat and the Hare Pub. This is a very cool room. Down here you can relax and enjoy a good tap beer or a mixed drink and an appetizer to fill you up! The room also has a plasma TV and small table to relax at. This is a great place to chill out at before or after dinner. It is also a great place to meet other people that are visitors or members.
The Castle offers a lot for their members like Magic classes for people that want to start out in the world of magic. The instructor David Thorsen, a teacher for more than 30 years, will teach you some basics on how to do some tricks step by step and how to perform for an audience. You must be at least 21 years old to take the class. They also have dinner events, lectures from famous magicians, and so much more.
You also get access to the castle for you family and friends. So you can bring a few of them to the events that the castle offers. They have Saturday and Sunday brunches that you can take them to or one of the magic shows and so much more. There is a strict dress code for the castle that you have to abide by or they will not let you in. Men need to wear a coat and tie that is business attire. Women must wear a cocktail dress, pants business suit, or a nice skirt and blouse with dress shoes, flip flops are not allowed.
I am glad that we got guest passes to go here. I would have never thought about going otherwise. It was an amazing castle full of so much to see and read about. I have always been fascinated with magic so I had a blast. So if magic is you thing check into becoming a member or hopefully you know a member that can get you in.
Featured Image Credit: Minnaert