Happy 50th, Magic Castle

The world's most famous magician club marks its half-century birthday.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013  |  Updated 3:04 PM PDT
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Happy 50th, Magic Castle

Magic Castle

The Magic Castle opened its creaky, spooky doors on Jan. 2, 1963.

If you've only seen one card trick in your life, or a single round of which-cup-hides-the-ball, you know numbers are important in magic. Counting and adding up and timing, all of which are mathematical at heart, are also magical at heart, too.

So when the world's most famous magician club hits a milestone number -- say, 50 years -- that is worth mention, too. And Hollywood's own Magic Castle did indeed hit that marker on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Could television writer Milt Larsen, the visionary who opened the center of all things now-you-see-it-now-you-don't back in 1963, have foreseen that his private club would become, without argument, the planet's most famous gathering place of prestidigitators?

Anyone who has uttered the words "there's nothing up my sleeve" at any point during the last century has longed to perform at the stately Victorian mansion sitting above Tinseltown. One glance at the dozens upon dozens of caricatures lining the walls says this is so.

Of course, it is a private club, meaning entry is more tricky than your average magic trick, at least for the non-member. But there are ways inside, such as the Open Sesame membership.

It's worth a visit. Stars galore have performed in its various venues. It survived a Halloween day fire back in 2011. It's one of the stalwart icons of Hollywood. And there's that famous piano that seemingly plays itself (no, no, we're not giving anything away, Castle fans, worry not).

Happy half-century, Magic Castle. We hope we never guess which hand is holding the coin, because guessing wrong is part of the act.

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