The Magic Castle in Hollywood is a private club for professional magicians and members of the Academy of Magical Arts and is one of Hollywoods most iconic sites. I love magic! Even the simplest card trick dazzles, leaving me wondering in disbelief what my eyes just saw. We all know these tricks aren’t ‘real,’ yet it’s still thrilling to watch closely and wait for the big reveal. Admission into the Magic Castle is exclusive and only members and their invited guests can enter.
I was fortunate to be invited by Jonathan Levit who performs in the close-up gallery. Close up is usually performed with common (at least common looking) items such as a deck of cards or coins. I’m one of those people who tries to analyze and figure out how each trick is done, and am constantly left spiraling when a trick is performed in front of my (very alert) eyes. Jonathan is one of those guys who never ceases to amaze and is a magical consultant for TV and movies such as ‘Now You See Me’, (really FUN movie) and ‘The Incredible Burt.’
If you’re able to score an invitation, it’s important to note the strict dress code everyone is required to follow. You can’t really overdress; think old Hollywood glamour. Ladies are expected in formal wear and men are required to wear a dinner jacket, tie and dress shoes at all times.
Seeing this level of dress in this old historic mansion simply adds to the air of mystique. Absolutely no pictures are allowed past the lobby adding to the exclusivity. It forces you to feast on the senses awaiting you inside.
Just entering the Magic Castle made us feel special. Our adventure began with us whispering “open sesame” to the owl perched on the lobby’s library shelves, to unlock a hidden door to enter. Guests are required to have dinner reservations and the restaurant offers fine dining with great service.
After dinner we were able to wander around taking in any and all of the shows being performed. Mystical & magical, the Magic Castle is an eclectic room-by-room fun experience for all. We saw close-up magic acts (I actually participated in the show too), as well as theater-style stage acts. The venue is quite large with five bars, an entry parlor, multiple grand dining rooms, a library (which is off-limits to non-members), a music room, a museum, and a gift shop. We spent the evening sipping fabulous cocktails while being mesmerized by performance parlors, secret doors, mysterious illusions and little magical surprises we found as we moved from room to room.
Along with the formal shows listed each evening, there are magicians staging tricks pretty much everywhere you turn. At empty tables in the bars, on couches in the lounges, and even the bartenders get in on the act!
Invisible Irma is the mansion’s resident piano-playing ghost who entertains guests nightly playing tunes on her piano in the music room. I requested ‘Here Comes the Sun’ (one of my favorite songs in the world by The Beatles), and Irma’s invisible hands immediately begin to play it as we sang along.
Sadly we didn’t have time to see every show since there are many performances in multiple show rooms. Since the rooms are intimate, the shows fill up quickly, and you are left trying to plot out your next move. We saw a private show in the close-up gallery (this was my favorite), the show in the Parlour of Prestidigitation, and the Palace of Mystery show. The close-up was baffling and the entire evening we were left with the ‘How did he do that?’ feeling.
We left the Magic Castle in Hollywood full of amazing cocktails, respect, disbelief, wonder, and longing for more.
Jonathan Levit, thank you for allowing us to be your guests to enjoy a special evening at the Magic Castle!
Have you been to the Magic Castle in Hollywood? How was your experience there? Here is a list of other fun things to do in Los Angeles.
I’m a travel and health writer, digital and brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two active boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.