Do you believe in magic? You will if you spend an evening at Hollywood’s Academy of Magical Arts, and its clubhouse, the Magic Castle. As its website says, “A miracle here, a miracle there, and pretty soon it starts to add up.”
The 1908 mansi, a "what's that up there?" eyecatcher when viewed from downtown Hollywood, houses a warren of rooms where magician members perform their craft in such spaces as The Parlour of Prestidigitation and the Palace of Mystery. See if you can spot the magician’s sleight of hand from just a few feet away in the tiny 22-seat Close-Up Gallery. There are bars and a Victorian-style restaurant, all worthy of a classy night out (jackets and ties required for the men, and dresses or skirts for the ladies). To add an air of exclusivity and mystery, entrance is only allowed to members (various options are detailed on the club’s website). You can also visit if invited by a current member.
Ivy Brown, an art director and designer who lives in downtown Los Angeles, has been to the Magic Castle several times with her fiancé. “There is an air of mystery, and it was all a little bit secretive. It feels like you’ve gone back to a different time,” says Brown, adding that during one visit, “One gentleman performed a sleight of hand with different size marbles that had me completely fooled. I was just blown away!”