Magic Castle

Things to do Hollywood
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
The Magic Castle.
Photograph: Courtesy the Magical Castle The Magic Castle.

Speak the secret phrase to the owl scultpure in the lobby of this private club, and the rest—well, we don't want to ruin the surprises in store for visitors at this magical institution. The mansion is over a century old, but since 1963 it's been the home of the Academy of Magical Arts, an exclusive organization made up of roughly 2,500 American magicians. If you can't find a member to tag along with, stay at the adjacent Magic Castle Hotel for access.

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Venue name: Magic Castle
Contact:
Address: 7001 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles

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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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tastemaker

The admission is rather steep, watch out for that and the menu at the restaurant is a tad stodgy but the service is superb and they have done a superb job of creating a modern and yet very traditional magical experience for the lay person. if you can get an invite GO, you will not be disappointed. There is some cheese but sometimes that is part of the attraction.

tastemaker

Despite the high cost of admission (unless you're with the magician who invited you, you pay admission + mandatory dinner, which is lackluster for the price), the Magic Castle truly is an experience like no other.  No pictures are allowed inside, but boy, I wish they were--it's so hard to describe the sheer wonder of the decor without pictures.  The sprawling "mansion" is filled with theatres and bars and dining rooms; it's hard to know where you are in relation to the outside.  From vintage Haunted Mansion decorations to slides of old Hollywood to extensive caricatures of all its performing magicians, there's memorabilia here you could spend years admiring.

And we haven't even gotten to the magic yet!

While some shows feel more stagy/corny than you'd like, many others provide more interesting and engaging shows.  The Close Up gallery is a must.  I'll never forget seeing a magician produce BABY CHICKS from underneath copper cups where once there were squishy red balls.  The magic here simply can't be beat overall.  Also, be sure to spend time relaxing in the common areas, where often, magicians are performing parlour tricks.  Befriend these magicians, get one of their business cards, and voila, you've in--should you ever wish to impress that out of town relative, contact said magician about getting an invite.


Know before you go: strict dress code.  Read the website.  Yes, it's invitation only--which is part of the fun, it's a way to proclaim just how much of an Angeleno you are--but reservations are also pretty necessary.  Most likely, you can't just get an invite and walk in that upcoming weekend.  If you can score one, make sure you book in advance.


This was the most amazing experience I have ever had! Truly, the only way to explain some of the tricks is that magic truly happens. If you can get in, it is a MUST DO! 

moderator

The Magic Castle is definitely worth a visit, at least once. It's members-only policy may seem daunting, but there's a pretty good chance you know someone who knows someone who can score you a reservation. Dinner is overpriced and underwhelming, and the main stage magic shows can be a little corny—but the close-up magic acts are fantastic. Also, just hanging out by the bar and having a magician start pulling out card tricks is pretty great.