Magic Castle Larsen Legacy

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Alan Bursky » 07/16/10 07:23 PM

FLASH! Hollywood, California.
Members will be rallying to Milt Larsen, to support Milt, to keep the "Larsen Legacy" at the Magic Castle.


I will explain more in the next few days. It has finally hit the fan.
Alan Bursky
 
Posts: 205
Joined: 03/01/08 01:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/16/10 08:06 PM

Alan, what are you talking about?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20448
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Seuss » 07/16/10 09:12 PM

What is the "this" that happened?
Genii Lifetime Subscriber
Co-host Magic On the Side
User avatar
Seuss
 
Posts: 431
Joined: 07/15/09 01:04 AM
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Postby Lisa Cousins » 07/16/10 09:29 PM

On the back of every Friday lunch menu, Milt Larsen writes a weekly column consisting of thoughts, memories, member news, information about visiting guests, etc.

On today's lunch menu, after reminiscing about the Magic Castle's origins, Milt wrote:

"Over the years I was able to have a free hand in the building of the Castle. Bill was 'the Prez' - I was 'The Boss.' 'Patrone.' That has changed. Now the 'suits' are running the store and, in the process, undermining the basic concept of the Academy of Magic Arts. We are not a dance club, night club, sports bar or little theater group. We are the Magic Castle. The Larsen name has been a force in magic since my Dad and Mother started Genii Magazine in 1936. My late brother Bill and I have devoted our lives to magic. I may not be here for the AMA centennial but I will do anything in my power to make sure the Castle will be here for generations to come. I have great respect for the Board of Directors and I only hope they will direct the management to have a little respect for the Larsen Family of Magicians."

After initially being distributed to dining guests, these menus were removed and replaced with menus with blank backs.
Lisa Cousins
 
Posts: 429
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollywood

Postby Richard Hatch » 07/16/10 10:41 PM

Wow, censorship of the Castle Menu! I'll watch for an unexpurgated copy on eBay!
Thanks, Lisa!
User avatar
Richard Hatch
 
Posts: 1584
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Logan, Utah

Postby Steve Bryant » 07/17/10 09:08 AM

Re this (?), I haven't been able to access the CAstle forums for weeks. What has happened there?
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1661
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby MagicBilly » 07/17/10 11:39 AM

Ahhh, cryptic messages - Alan you take the cake. Lisa thanks for clarifying.

New times, a new lease quandry and the economy has pushed the AMA into a different, let's say more structured business model. While I wholeheartedly support MAGIC FIRST (thanks Max for the succinct-ness of this message), the AMA must have an ample "war chest" (aka cash) to retain access to the Castle property while supporting their future needs and wants.

The PTB must and is seeking additional revenue sources, hence Cabaret and other non-magic events which sadly take away from magic, not to mention the exclusivity of the Castle. What has always baffled me is why the organization doesn't capitalize on day-time buyouts to visitors or businesses in need of a meeting venue while keeping the nights dedicated to a member and member-invited magic scene. Way back, I was told the cost to have staff on hand during the day outweighed the revenues received.

There are some members who believe the Castle should change to a night-club atmosphere, and it's highly likely Sean MacPherson, or whomever will structure lease payments that force the AMA to sustain a higher income stream. The AMA is in a precarious position, trying to keep magic first while satisfying the financial pressures of present-day business. Ahhh, the times they are a changing.

I hope this gets addressed soon and amicably. This is discouraging to hear.
Act Happy, Feel Happy, Be Happy with no reason in the World (D. Millman)
User avatar
MagicBilly
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 04/13/08 12:49 PM
Location: Southern Oregon

Postby Jim Patton » 07/17/10 02:08 PM

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
S. Holmes
Jim Patton
 
Posts: 78
Joined: 01/27/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA

Postby MagicBilly » 07/17/10 02:53 PM

Spot on Jim, speculation leads nowhere. I personally dislike feeding the rumor mill and hence my post.
Act Happy, Feel Happy, Be Happy with no reason in the World (D. Millman)
User avatar
MagicBilly
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 04/13/08 12:49 PM
Location: Southern Oregon

Postby Alan Bursky » 07/17/10 02:58 PM

Richard, and all,
Basically Milt is being censored at the Castle. Certain people are trying to marginalize Milt at the club he built!
What Lisa cousins posted is what Milt wrote for the lunch menu gazzette. The menus were pulled right from the tables in front of members yesterday at lunch. They were replaced with menus that were blank on the back of them. Also the menu is put on the Castle website. This one wasn't.
Alan Bursky
 
Posts: 205
Joined: 03/01/08 01:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles

Postby houdini's ghost » 07/17/10 03:08 PM

Well, well, well.

We have a new comedy team at the Magic Castle: Larsen and Bursky.

Having been around the Magic Castle since before it openedI stripped the paint off the balustrade under your right hand as you start up the stairsI have watched the Castle through its struggles and changes. It was guided by two visionaries, Milt Larsen and Bill Larsen, but, conceived by their father as an organization that would recognize magic for the art form that it was, with awards, and a clubhouse with showrooms. Impossible, but, Milt did it.

Always, at the Castle, magic came first. Clearly, magic still comes first.

"We are not a dance club, night club, sports bar or little theater group. We are the Magic Castle."

The Magic Castle has always had special nights: Valentines, St. Patrick's, New Year's which included a band and dancing.

A few weeks ago, I found myself standing with an overflow crowd for the better part of an hour, waiting to see Maven in the Peller, and what made it fun was that this beautiful woman was playing the piano and singing as good as she looked and doing a very wonderful eclectic Bobby Short, Page Cavanaugh, Michael Feinstein kind of repertoire. And I found her unusual and magical.

For the last few years, some members, quite a lot really, have enjoyed Super Bowl and Monday Football nights. Anybody get hurt by that? Bursky certainly seemed to approve of the cheerleaders Felicitti engaged.

In the last couple of years, some members and employees have staged two memorable and magical plays in the Peller on nights when it was dark. Both plays, Blithe Spirit and the Fantasticks had magic themes and included magical effects. I didn't talk to anyone who didn't enjoy both shows as much as I did. And I saw terrific performances by the girl on the front desk, one of our waiters, our general manager and our gift store manager as well as some very talented members who also happen to be excellent magicians. I heard no complaints, except from Bursky, who I don't think saw either play.

Alan, Milt, wake up! The Magic Castle is better than it has ever been, though, admittedly, it is slowly drifting away from its fondly remembered, but timeworn, baggy pants humor days.

See, the Magic Castle charter says we are to promote magic and allied arts. And we oughtn't let two eternal malcontents decide what is an and what isn't an "allied art."

Patrick Culliton
houdini's ghost
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 09/24/08 07:23 PM

Postby Mark Collier » 07/17/10 03:37 PM

I hardly think it's fair to characterize Milt Larsen as a 'malcontent'.
Mark Collier
 
Posts: 373
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Santa Barbara, Ca

Postby Bill McFadden » 07/17/10 03:48 PM

In my view, the Magic Castle without the Larsen family is simply un-American.
Bill McFadden
 
Posts: 617
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Villesville-on-the-Chesapeake

Postby houdini's ghost » 07/17/10 04:18 PM

We have one on the board, and I hope we always do.
houdini's ghost
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 09/24/08 07:23 PM

Postby Chris Aguilar » 07/17/10 04:27 PM

We have a new comedy team at the Magic Castle: Larsen and Bursky.

...

And we oughtn't let two eternal malcontents decide what is an and what isn't an "allied art."

Stay classy Patrick.
Chris Aguilar
 
Posts: 1491
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Sacramento

Postby Pete Biro » 07/17/10 10:35 PM

Pat we miss you at table 29 on Fridays. Howcom?
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby houdini's ghost » 07/17/10 11:04 PM

For reasons that I don't understand, Milt's remarks on the confiscated Friday lunch menus have been reprinted twice on the At the Castle forum only to mysteriously disappear. Hopefully, we can discuss this matter on this forum without this kind of absurd censorship.
I disagree with Milt's attitude toward some excellent things the management has been doing.
But, I have no patience with censors. Somebody is trying to cover something up.
Pete, see you Friday. Milt didn't mention Musical Comedy. He said the Magic Castle is not, among other things, a "little theatre group."
The two theatrical productions some of the members and employees put on were magical and genuine feathers in the Castle's cap in my opinion. Nobody got hurt or put out. Everybody who saw them enjoyed those shows.
houdini's ghost
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 09/24/08 07:23 PM

Postby houdini's ghost » 07/17/10 11:16 PM

Somebody is really working overtime to make this go away.
I won't be able to access the Castle Forums for the present.
It would appear, Milt has elected to go public with a fight. Who is trying to muzzle Milt? For that matter, who's just muzzled me right off the Castle forums.
I got into this because I like what management has been doing at the Castle but whoever manages the Castle forums is acting as if there is something to hide here.
What is the name of my censor? Anybody know? Is it the same person who ordered the menus picked up?
houdini's ghost
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 09/24/08 07:23 PM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/18/10 12:12 AM

I've been told that this incident began when Milt wanted to modify the decor in the main lobby bar and the powers that be refused to let him do it.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20448
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Alan Bursky » 07/18/10 04:57 AM

Patrick,
I did not want to get personal. But I guess you do. I will answer you in detail in the next few days.
Alan Bursky
 
Posts: 205
Joined: 03/01/08 01:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles

Postby CarloPanno » 07/18/10 06:41 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I've been told that this incident began when Milt wanted to modify the decor in the main lobby bar and the powers that be refused to let him do it.


What did Milt want to do? I know that the Hall of Fame has been recently ossified rather than in a state of constant flux (except for the picture of me) but what did he have in mind for the main bar?

--c
User avatar
CarloPanno
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 07/18/10 05:54 PM

Postby Pete Biro » 07/18/10 06:45 PM

The Prez OK'd Milt and Joe Hoffman's design verbally to Milt. I saw the graphics and what needs refurbishing.

But the "suits" jumped in and want to see samples of Milt's work... HUH???? They want paint color samples and stencil samples.

Don't they realize who built this place? And to start putting their noses in is a joke.

What's next? Put the project out for bids?
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Pete Biro » 07/18/10 06:54 PM

HERE'S MILT'S REPLY TO THE SUITS

Mark: Just got your email. Robert said last night that he would okay the plan. I assumed that meant a green light!

As the founder of the magic castle I have had artistic and creative control over the club since it's inception. I will not be embarrassed by having to submit samples etc. to you and Dave Clement. John Shrum was the senior art director for NBC and Joe Hoffman has been a network art director and teaches design at USC. What are your credentials? I have created a Magic Castle, The Mayfair Music Hall, The Variety Arts Theater and Caesars Magical Empire What are your credits? I have produced dozen of stage shows and produced TV specials for three networks. What are your credits? I designed every inch of this club trusting professionals like John Shrum and Joe Hoffman. You have displayed that have no respect for me or the club that I have built over the past 50 years. I resent the fact that you are now questioning our artistic judgement. For you to question feasibility is crap --- Where were you when everyone told Bill and I the Castle was not feasible. The cost? The entire cost will cost about the same as the one Grosh painted scenic drop that you okayed for the awards show. The art gallery cost was less than the flower bill for that $100,000+ loss fiasco.

Since you will not proceed until you see a sample of the work to be done. We will not proceed under these circumstances. I don't need your permission to change the decor and concept of the Magic Castle. I was only asking the AMA to cover the modest cost. I have been here through many boards and many managers. I am the President of MCI, we own the trademarks and the fixtures. You seem to think I am one of the maintenance staff -- think again my friend. I don't work for you and you don't work for me.

Any suggestions I have for the betterment of the club will be presented to the Board for approval.

That being said I will now send the proposal to the board who may trust my judgement as they have in the past.

Milt Larsen
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Brian Tolman » 07/18/10 07:42 PM

Personally, I think the whole castle is enough of a "sample" of Milt's work.
Brian Tolman
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 04/06/08 03:46 PM

Postby Geno Munari » 07/18/10 08:05 PM

Milt, Bill and Irene have done a job that all of us are benefiting from. The hard work, coming up with the cash, not getting a paycheck and going through much more than any member could imagine.

Milt is the reason why we have the Magic Castle.

The idiot that took those menus of the table should get an education in manners and life.

Lets all of us show our support for Milt. There will never be another Milt.

Geno Munari
Geno Munari
 
Posts: 624
Joined: 01/30/08 01:00 PM
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA

Postby Pepka » 07/19/10 12:34 AM

As someone who is not a member, or has yet to visit the Castle, I really can't state much of an opinion on the recent changes. However, I can say that it's incredibly disrespectful to treat Mr. Larsen this way. What cahones these suits have!
Pepka
 
Posts: 387
Joined: 05/04/08 09:40 AM

Postby erdnasephile » 07/19/10 03:42 AM

I'm a member, and this whole incident saddens me greatly.

I am also concerned about Mr. Larsen's statement that we lost "$100,000+" on the awards banquet.

Is that true?
User avatar
erdnasephile
 
Posts: 1984
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM

Postby CraigMitchell » 07/19/10 04:20 AM

Magic politics ;-(
User avatar
CraigMitchell
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/19/10 11:10 AM

It's politics AND money.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20448
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Doc Eason » 07/19/10 11:51 AM

...and control.
Doc Eason
www.doceason.com
www.doceasonmagicshop.com
Doc Eason
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 04/30/08 11:42 PM
Location: Aspen Colorado

Postby Pete Biro » 07/19/10 12:19 PM

An anonymous post from the AMA has appeared this morning that reeks LAWYER-SPEAK. This post bothers me more.
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Terrence » 07/19/10 12:38 PM

Yes. It was created to keep the poster's identity secret, and to allow him to post anything he wishes to, and to lurk anonymously.

This type of account BTW is expressly forbidden by the Terms-Of-Use -- in force as I type this. But that could be wiggled around.

The fact that this poster is hiding behind the AMA's name is particularly odious. This sort of account is only granted to moderators, to protect them from sanction.
Terrence
 
Posts: 203
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Van Nuys, CA

Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/19/10 12:40 PM

Why doesn't someone copy it and paste it here so we can read it.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20448
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Tabman » 07/19/10 12:42 PM

Doesn't Milt own all the fixtures et al at the Castle?
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby CarloPanno » 07/19/10 12:51 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Why doesn't someone copy it and paste it here so we can read it.


Scroll up a bit. Lisa Cousins posted it.

--c
User avatar
CarloPanno
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 07/18/10 05:54 PM

Postby Doc Eason » 07/19/10 12:59 PM

Doc Eason
www.doceason.com
www.doceasonmagicshop.com
Doc Eason
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 04/30/08 11:42 PM
Location: Aspen Colorado

Postby CarloPanno » 07/19/10 01:04 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Why doesn't someone copy it and paste it here so we can read it.


If what you're asking about is the new lawyer-speak post, I'll be happy to do the honors:

It's in a blue font, unlike the regular black. The author is identified as "Academy of Magical Arts, Inc." Icon is the little owl from the Magic Castle logo. Join date is 07/18/2010 and the post count is 1.
==================================
[color:#3333FF]
Everyone appreciates and respects Milt Larsen for what he has done in helping to create the club that we all love and have the pleasure of enjoying each and every day. His vision was, and is, the driving force behind the greatest haven for magicians in the world, as well as those who love magic. Milt is truly the Walt Disney of Magic.

Since 1968, Milt has created the back of the Friday lunch menu and delighted our members and guests with comments about people having lunch that day at the Castle, reminiscences, amusing anecdotes and interesting trivia. Milt's "Friday Gazette" has been a unique and interesting aspect of a truly unique and interesting place. Unfortunately, Milt's comments on the back of the July 16th menu departed from his usual amusing and whimsical tone and instead turned to an "editorial" which was inappropriate, hurtful to our employees and, more importantly, inaccurate in many respects. Milt's views on the direction of the Magic Castle, physically and artistically, are important and always taken seriously by the AMA Board of Directors and management. But while constructive criticism is always welcome, attacks on the AMA's employees with inaccurate information have no place in AMA materials - regardless of their source.

The AMA produces all printed materials within the Magic Castle, including the Friday Lunch Menu and cannot permit negative, inaccurate attacks on AMA employees in the form of "editorial" comments, or otherwise, by members, guests or others reproduced on AMA materials. Accordingly, the Friday Lunch Menu was replaced this week with a menu without such material on the back. This has never happened before, and it is hoped, will not happen again.

Similarly, such "commentary" containing negative, inaccurate attacks on AMA employees - at whatever level - will not be permitted to be published (or republished) on the Forums, which is owned and operated by the AMA and governed by the Terms of Use which all users of the Forums agreed to when they registered.

This all will pass and the AMA's employees, Boards, Committees and membership will continue to enjoy working and interacting with Milt at the wonderful institution which came from his vision, for many years to come. We all regret the incident with the Friday Lunch Menu and will be sure that it does not happen again.

-------------------------
Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.
(323) 851-3313
www.magiccastle.com
ama@magiccastle.com [/color]
==================================

Hope this helps.

--c
User avatar
CarloPanno
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 07/18/10 05:54 PM

Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/19/10 01:17 PM

Tabman wrote:Doesn't Milt own all the fixtures et al at the Castle?

Milt owns some and the AMA owns some. This biggest thing Milt owns is the name: "The Magic Castle."

I saw the proposed new colors and graphics and, frankly, wasn't all that crazy about them. But that's just me.

I'm still not used to what they did to the Close-up Gallery. But that's just me.

The cabaret nights dont bother me so much (though I do think that the guests should pay a tad more particularly since they get the run of the building afterward). But thats just me.

I know I pay the dues that fund the place and all that, but it will always be "Milt's House."

But that's just me.

Dustin
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5749
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/19/10 01:17 PM

How much are the menus going for on ebaY?

On the more adult side of matters - I don't see how airing that kind of concern in the format and language used on the Friday menu is endearing for him or his beloved Magic Castle. The message comes across as way too close to the "help I'm being held hostage in a chinese fortune cookie" message for my taste.

Much worse has been stated in much more sensative places without ruffling feathers. IMHO we may be neglecting the magic of language these days.
Jonathan Townsend
 
Posts: 6601
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby Pete Biro » 07/19/10 01:21 PM

It helps for others to read it for sure. You then should scroll up to Doc Eason's link to see what Milt's partner in design, Joe Hoffman writes. THAT IS THE CRUX.
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Next

Return to Buzz