Information needed ...please help

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Shawn Farquhar » 08/22/12 04:33 PM

Hi everyone,

Can anyone give me any information the Golden Gate Magic Co. that once operated in San Francisco? Any idea why it closed? I'd love to find out who was the last owner and where they might reside or contact info...

Thanks,

-shawn
Shawn Farquhar

"if you can't laugh at yourself, you're just not getting the joke."
Shawn Farquhar
 
Posts: 108
Joined: 02/29/08 01:00 PM
Location: Entertainer

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/22/12 07:08 PM

Bob Koch was the last owner. I saw him recently at some convention.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20647
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Diego » 08/22/12 09:10 PM

The Golden Gate Magic Store was a classic magic store in a building,(2nd floor?) upstairs on Market Street. I remember it had long counters of magic, (they looked long to this kid)and a small stage on the right, to demo larger things. Photos of the wall and chairs and I believe a couch(!) for those to sit and socialize.
After Tom Defelulson,(spelling?) a man whose first name was Les ran the store, and I was told later by some, not very well.
About 2 years after it closed Marvin "Buma" Burger opened The House of Magic on Chestnut Street, where it stayed for almost 40 years.
Pete Biro could tell you more perhaps I'm sure.

(Note: It seems many of the BEST magic stores were upstairs...Flosso, Chanin, Berg,Tannen, etc.
Diego
 
Posts: 213
Joined: 06/16/08 11:29 AM

Postby Shawn Farquhar » 08/23/12 03:33 AM

Richard, is that the Bob Koch of Telekinetic Timber fame?
Shawn Farquhar

"if you can't laugh at yourself, you're just not getting the joke."
Shawn Farquhar
 
Posts: 108
Joined: 02/29/08 01:00 PM
Location: Entertainer

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/23/12 10:34 AM

Yes.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20647
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby R.E.Byrnes » 08/23/12 12:31 PM

"(Note: It seems many of the BEST magic stores were upstairs...Flosso, Chanin, Berg,Tannen, etc."

hank lee on lincoln street
R.E.Byrnes
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 07/18/12 01:56 PM

Postby Steve Shain » 08/24/12 12:21 PM

Shawn,

In the late 1940's, early 1950's I spent a lot of time at the Golden Gate Magic shop as a youngster. Tom Dethlefsen was the owner and was very kind to me. A few years back I put together for my own use some historical materials on the effect Cube-a-Libre (the Conradi Magic Cubes) which Tom introduced into the US at the 1948 PCAM convention. My notes show that in 1959 Tom Dethlefsen was ill and the business was closed. A year later, in December 1960, the business was sold to Lou Rossi. It reopened for a short period. A catalog was issued in 1961 but the business did not prosper. I only visited it once after it was sold (probably around 1961) and it was clearly on its last legs and ready to close for good.

Steve Shain
Steve Shain
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 01/26/08 01:00 PM
Location: Houston, Texas

Postby Diego » 08/25/12 03:24 AM

It was still open in 1965 when Les was running it. It was closed in/by 1966.
Diego
 
Posts: 213
Joined: 06/16/08 11:29 AM

Postby Joe Pecore » 08/25/12 07:33 AM

Whaley's "Who's Who in Magic" says Bill Whittington reopened Golden Gate Magic in 1985, partnered with Bob Koch (1985-1988) and then with Paul Chosse starting in 1989.
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
User avatar
Joe Pecore
 
Posts: 1744
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Northern Virginia

Postby Tom Frame » 08/25/12 01:55 PM

I met Bill Whittington in the early 90s and hung out with him from time to time in his apartment here in the city. By that time, Golden Gate Magic had been reduced to a mail order business that Bill operated out of his small apartment. He didnt have a car, so I occasionally drove him and his outgoing packages to the post office.

He had a treasured mailing list of faithful customers to whom he would mail flyers that ballyhooed the latest products for sale. For reasons I still dont understand, he was very eager to sell the business to me. I had no interest in taking over a sagging magic business that consisted of little more than a name, a fond memory, a miniscule inventory and a mailing list.

Over time, we lost contact with each other. I dont know what became of Bill or the business. I last spotted him in the late 90s. I was driving down Geary Boulevard and he was sitting alone at a bus stop practicing his Faro shuffle.
Tom Frame
 
Posts: 857
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Francisco

Postby Oddly Bent » 08/25/12 05:50 PM

There is a way over priced catalog on ebay right now.

BTW, Tom Dethlefson was one of the founders, along with others, of the Magic Dealers Association.

(maybe I'm thinking of someone else)
Oddly Bent
 
Posts: 136
Joined: 02/10/12 02:24 PM
Location: Hudspeth County, Texas

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/25/12 06:22 PM

I pity the guy who partnered with Paul Chosse.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20647
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Richard Hatch » 08/25/12 10:38 PM

Bill Whittington was also a member of the San Francisco band The Brogues which had some success in the mid-1960s. Here's a link to one of their recordings, appropriately titled "I ain't no miracle worker":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTOOol6cms&feature=plcp

I believe he worked for some time as a bar magician in the Bay area. I've been told he did a great cut and restored rope routine. He was instrumental to the early growth of H & R Magic Books by selling us a specialized customer mailing list of a book club he ran along with his extensive file of publishing house and wholesale book contacts, which moved us from being strictly dealers of used books and the most common new magic titles to stocking every magic related title we learned about (many from non-magic publishers). Alas, we lost touch with him some time ago.
He may be the same Bill Whittington who is currently active as a recording engineer:
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-whi ... 0000078126
User avatar
Richard Hatch
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Logan, Utah

Postby Pete Biro » 08/28/12 03:02 AM

I lived across the bay in Oakland and only visited Golden Gate Magic a few times. Emile Clifton and Steve Shepherd were frequent visitors.

One Saturday that I was there Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh came in on a trip promoting the Houdini film. One of their buddies, Sammy Davis Jr. was along with them and I sessioned with him as he was learning some card magic.
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird


Return to Buzz

cron