Information needed ...please help

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Shawn Farquhar
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Information needed ...please help

Postby Shawn Farquhar » August 22nd, 2012, 4:33 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
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 22nd, 2012, 7:08 pm

Bob Koch was the last owner. I saw him recently at some convention.
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Diego
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Diego » August 22nd, 2012, 9:10 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.

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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Shawn Farquhar » August 23rd, 2012, 3:33 am

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



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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 23rd, 2012, 10:34 am

Yes.
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby R.E.Byrnes » August 23rd, 2012, 12:31 pm

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

hank lee on lincoln street

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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Steve Shain » August 24th, 2012, 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.

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Diego
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Diego » August 25th, 2012, 3:24 am

It was still open in 1965 when Les was running it. It was closed in/by 1966.

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Joe Pecore » August 25th, 2012, 7:33 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.
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Tom Frame
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Tom Frame » August 25th, 2012, 1:55 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.

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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Oddly Bent » August 25th, 2012, 5:50 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)

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 25th, 2012, 6:22 pm

I pity the guy who partnered with Paul Chosse.
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Richard Hatch » August 25th, 2012, 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

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Pete Biro
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Re: Information needed ...please help

Postby Pete Biro » August 28th, 2012, 3:02 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.
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