Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Roadboy's Visit To Hollywood's Magic Castle

Just Whisper The Magic Words To Enter

For years I've heard about a club located at 7001 Franklin Avenue in the Hollywood Hills known as the Magic Castle. This is a one-of-a-kind club that is the exclusive domain of magicians. Every night  members practice their craft and perform both up-close and formal magic shows. Members and their guests from round the world come here to attend the presentations.

But, being a private members-only club, no one gets in without an invitation from a member.


Hollywood's Magic Castle

In 2013 the castle celebrates its 50th year. So this is the year I decided to finagle a visit. To do so I used the one loophole available to non-members. If you book a night in its adjoining Magic Castle Hotel you may ask them to book you a visit to the club.

Except for brunches on weekends club guests must be 21 years of age, pay a guest fee ($20) and book dinner in the club's dining room. But, after dinner you have full run of the club. 

Guests must adhere to a strict dress code (suit and ties for men, evening attire for women). No photos are allowed once inside the club. 

The building was created from the 1910 Rolin B. Lane mansion. In fact, the development of the Academy of Magical Arts and the club itself were the defining factors that saved the mansion from the wrecking ball in 1961. It opened as the Magic Castle in 1963.

The "castle" is much larger than it appears. After registering in the reception lobby you whisper the magic words and a bookshelf slides open offering you entry to the club. 

There are multiple bars, a small gift shop, an elaborately decorated dining room, a seance room, and a variety of showrooms. There is even a magic piano whose ghost (Irma) plays requests when guests leave a tip in her empty birdcage nearby.

We arrived for dinner at 6 PM and then enjoyed presentations by 4 magicians. There were 13 different performers in the castle on the night we visited. We chose one close-up show and the main Palace of Mystery show.

We left a little before 11 PM. The club closes at 1:00 am.

All those years of waiting paid off, our night in the Magic Castle was perfect!

Roadboy's Travels © 2013

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