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Houdini Seance Room at the Magic Castle
Photograph: Courtesy the Magic Castle

4 ways to get into the Magic Castle

Trying to visit the Magic Castle? Here are five ways to get into the Academy of Magical Arts' clubhouse.

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
Contributor
Stephanie Breijo
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It’s not too tricky to score an invite to the Magic Castle, Hollywood’s members-only magician clubhouse. Since 1963, the century-old Victorian mansion has served as the sort-of-secretive home base for the Academy of Magical Arts. Step inside—reservations and formal dress are required, and no photos, please—and you’ll find performance parlors, secret doors, mysterious illusions and—well, we don’t want to ruin all of the surprises in store. Instead of spending years practicing your craft as a wannabe magician, you can gain access to the Magic Castle via these ways below (ranked from easiest to most difficult).

Know a member
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Frank Fujimoto

1. Know a member

For most Angelenos, this will be the easiest way to enter. Finding a friend who can get you into the Magic Castle is like playing six degrees of separation: It’s almost a sure thing that your friend’s coworker’s cousin can get you in.

Members can hand out guest passes like candy; get one and you’re in, though expect to pay upwards of $75 for the cover charge and dinner. (The door charge is $25 per person during weekend brunch, $35 from Monday to Thursday nights and $45 from Friday to Sunday during the evening—and that’s in addition to $20 valet parking.)

Spend the night at the Magic Castle Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Magic Castle Hotel

2. Spend the night at the Magic Castle Hotel

It sadly isn’t in the actual castle itself, but an overnight stay at this apartment-style hotel is the most straightforward way to gain entry to the magic club. Located right next door, the Magic Castle Hotel can book a reservation at the club for you, based on availability.

With rooms starting around $200 a night, it’s not the most economical way for locals to visit, but it’s a savvy option if you’re coming from out of town: The place has overwhelmingly positive reviews, will deliver complimentary snacks to your room 24 hours a day and even has an emergency popsicle phone by the pool.

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Befriend a magician
Photograph: Courtesy the Magic Castle/Jacky Sallow

3. Befriend a magician

Sliding into the DMs of a magician slated to perform at the Castle was once a sort of impolite but possibly effective means of gaining access. But now the Magic Castle’s upcoming show schedule only stretches about a week ahead, which makes it pretty impractical, too. That said, if you show genuine interest, you never know when you’ll find a membership-toting magician who’s sympathetic to your cause.

Become a member (or a magician)
Photograph: Courtesy Liz Del Sol/Taylor Wong

4. Become a member (or a magician)

You can apply for an associate membership into the Academy of Magical Arts, no magic training required. When applying, it helps to know someone who’s already a member, otherwise, you may be on the wait list for a long while. If accepted, you can visit whenever you’d like. You can also keep your eyes peeled for trial membership offers, which can grant limited-run perks at a fraction of the annual cost.

Alternatively, if you’ve already mastered sleight of hand, then consider applying and auditioning for a magician membership, whether your’re local or global.

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