On January 2nd, professional performing magicians and an eclectic list of celebrity guests launched a year-long celebration for an Iconic Hollywood Landmark's 50th anniversary. Check out photos from the event below!
In November of 2009 a Los Angeles historic structure, once known as the Lane Mansion, celebrated its centennial. On Jan 2nd, 1963 that same structure became a world renowned clubhouse for the private magicians club, popularly known as The Magic Castle. As fans and fanatics of the mystical and mysterious world of illusion celebrate its 50th anniversary, the unique and respected Magic Castle brand will expand its already highly recognized image into new and exciting marketing ventures.
The Magic Castle has been an internationally revered gathering place for the magic brotherhood since opening its doors in 1963. Located in historic Hollywood in an elegant, Victorian-era mansion, the Castle is an experience within itself-a remarkable meeting spot that captures a lost era and is timeless in its appeal, having hosted generations of magic enthusiasts from around the globe. Leading the Academy of Magical Arts, housed in The Magic Castle, as president of the Board of Directors is Emmy Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris. The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician and entrepreneur Milt Larsen and his late brother, Bill Larsen, Jr.
Under the direction of co-founder, Milt Larsen, The Magic Castle has grown over the years from its original design to feature 13 performance spaces including the Close-up Magic Theatre, the Parlor of Prestidigitation, The Teller Theatre and, the jewell in the magical crown, The Palace of Mystery. The Castle's membership, which began with 150 members, now includes performing magicians and illusionist of all levels - including entertainment's most pre-eminent, world-renowned artists - as well as associate members who simply love the art and the establishment. The Magic Castle has drawn practically every great magician of the modern era including David Cooperfield, Lance Burton, Doug Henning, Harry Blackstone, Penn & Teller, Siegfried & Roy to appeared within its walls (as well as a few noted amateur illusionists including Cary Grant, Johnny Carson, Orson Wells, Jason Alexander, Tony Curtis, Dom DeLuise, and Neil Patrick Harris, to name a few), as well as other recognizable members names such as Carol Channing, Jane Fonda, Stephen Hawkins, Joanne Worley, Rip Taylor, June Lockhart, Julie Newmar and Johnny Depp, to name only a few.
Included among those who gathered on Jan 2nd, 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the premier clubhouse, the Magic Castle, as the most unique of private clubs in the world, were Tippi Hedren, Michael Learned, Dawn Wells, Kate Linder, Dee Wallace, Gabrielle Stone, Cassandra Peterson, Seth Green, Gay Blackstone, as well as celebrated Magician Siegfried Fischbacher (of Siegfried & Roy fame), one of the Castles earliest members, Rose Marie (of Dick Van Dyke Show fame) and the galas host, Steve Valentine. Los Angeles City Councilman (4th District) Tom LaBonge, was on hand to pay tribute to The Magic Castle as a Hollywood institution, saying "I couldn't be more honored to recognize such an incredible place."
As expert illusionists world-wide celebrate the mecca of all things magical, The Magic Castle, Inc. signs a global brand licensing agreement with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world's leading entertainment and sports agency.
"We are excited about the future of the Magic Castle," says Milt Larsen, referring to not only the new Magic Castle brand, but the release of a new book by Mr. Larsen, entitled "My Magical Journey: The First 30,000 Days" (ISBN: HB:
978-1-939178-00-8 SB: 978-1¬939178-01-5) and the pending production of a new movie, based on the mysteries, myths and legends that have built up The Magic Castle's legend over the years. The feature film, based on The Magic Castle is currently in development from veteran movie producer Ted Field and his company, Radar Pictures along with 20th Century Fox and will be under the direction of noted DGA member, McG. It is anticipated that the public will be as equally interested in embracing the ultimate icon of magic, as they have everything enchanted in entertainment from Harry Potter's adventures and televisions "Wizards of Waverly Place" to "WICKED" on the great white way.
"Magic is the world's second oldest profession," says Milt Larsen. "It has been a source of fascination to the public since before the pharaohs of Egypt, was a popular past time for the kings and queens of Europe and has been a staple in American entertainment since the days of vaudeville.
For more information visit www.MagicCastle.com.
Photo Credits: Hocus Pocus Focus
Milt Larsen, Irene Larsen and Siegfried Fischbacher
Dee Wallace and daughter Gabrielle Stone
Gay Blackstone, Rose Marie and Kate Linder
Arlene Larsen, Milt Larsen, Neil Patrick Harris and Irene Larsen
Dawn Wells, Gabrielle Stone, Rose Marie, Dee Wallace, Siegfried Fischbacher, Irene Larsen, Milt Larsen, Tippi Hedren, Richard Sherman, Kate Linder and Michael Learned