The beautiful mansion is truly a
"castle," built in the style of a Chateau by banker, real estate developer
and philanthropist, Rollin B. Lane. The Lane family owned the home until
1955 at which time they sold it to Thomas O. Glover. The Glover family
still owns the property and first leased it to Bill Larsen, Jr. and Milt
Larsen in September 1961. The two brothers converted it to its magnificent
Victorian style and opened the Magic Castle on January 2, 1963.
The invention of illusion and
magic can be traced as far back as the Egyptian Pharaohs. In past times,
the title of Magician stood for men, while women were usually called
sorceresses and witches. Because times have changed, The Magic Castle
recently presented the first ever Women in Magic Week honoring one of its
own early women in magic, Gerri Larsen, the mother of its founders, Milt
and Bill Larsen. Gerri was a regular on local television in Los Angeles
and performed in her own show for many years. During the week, in the
Palace Theatre, a fantastic show that paid tribute to Gerri was emceed by
great granddaughter Liberty Larsen,. Included in the tribute were clips
from her performances including some commentary by son Milt. Liberty even
performed one of her great grandmother's signature tricks.
On the program for the full week
were phenomenal women magicians, Luna Shimada, Sophie Evans, and Juliana
Chen. Shimada is an exotic performer and her magic is beautiful and
mystic. She performed a number of illusions, but her signature piece is
one in which many dazzling parasols appeared She is the daughter of the
legendary magician Shimada. Sophie Evans performed her magic with fire in
an incredible show of skill and show biz style. Juliana Chen, from China,
is a world champion magician. She wowed the audience with her color
changing masks, and especially performing her manipulation with cards.
The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.
is a non-profit social order of members worldwide devoted to the
advancement of the art of magic. The Magic Castle is their clubhouse, one
of the must unique private clubs in the world. For non-members, call (323)
851-3313, x301 for more information about their introductory "Open Sesame"
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