Al's Magic Shop in Washington

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/02/01 05:00 PM

I post this news (not really gossip) here because Al Cohen has sent the word to his customer base.

Magic dealer extraordinaire Al Cohen has announced that he is getting out of the business. His wife's health is not good, and he must devote his energies to her.

Al's son Stan, who has run the business for the past several years, has another business opportunity and will leave the business also.

What this means to magicians is that if Al cannot find a buyer for his business--located in downtown Washington, DC--within the next couple months, Al's Magic Shop will close permanently.

Al really wants to sell the shop; he doesn't want it to close. If you have any interest at all in taking over the shop, please get in touch with Al Cohen at , or telephone him at (202)789-2800.

The loss of Al's Magic would be a devastating blow for magic in the mid-Atlantic region. Incidentally, Al hints that he would not disappear from the scene even if he sells the shop.

Keep Al's Magic alive!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/02/01 08:13 PM

Terrible news. Very hard for magic shops to compete with the discounters on the internet these days.
We will all miss Al!
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/20/01 08:18 PM

For those of you North Americans reading the Genii Forum here late at night (Thursday, December 20), you might be interested to know that the radio program "Morning Edition" on National Public Radio is going to be doing a feature on the selling of Al's Magic Shop tomorrow morning (Friday, Dec. 21).

I heard a teaser promotion this afternoon that included an interview of Al Cohen. The show generally runs in a two-hour cycle. Check your local public radio station tomorrow morning.
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Postby Mitch Praver » 12/21/01 01:00 PM

For those of you who missed the NPR interview with Al Cohen on "Morning Edition", please check out NPR's Web site at

On the site, you can access a write-up of the interview, see an online gallery of store photos and see video clips of Al demonstrating "The Floating Bill" and "The Mysterious Mat". Usually the audio of the interview is posted shortly after the air date.

As a Washingtonian, whose office is just two block from Al's, I will miss him and the store greatly. I hope that there's a perspective buyer among you all.

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Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/21/01 08:59 PM

The audio of the piece on Al is on the NPR web site, as of this afternoon.

The feature was very nicely done by Barry Gordemer, an NPR director who is also a magician. There are two video clips (which Mitch mentioned) and a still photo gallery of Al and Stan.

Mitch, I listened this morning to both Washington-area NPR stations and did not hear the profile. And I'm pretty sure I heard every segment in the two hours of the program. Did our locals pre-empt the piece on Al for the stock market news or traffic report or something?
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Postby Mitch Praver » 12/29/01 07:09 AM

From NPR's "Morning Edition" program regarding the interview with Al Cohen of Al's Magic Shop in Washington, DC:

Unfortunately, sometimes stations pre-empt or rearrange segments of Morning
Edition for various reasons. There are two stations in DC that carry
Morning Edition: WAMU and WETA. WAMU replaces the segment at the end of the
first hour with the segment that Morning Edition broadcasts at the end of
the second hour. The Al Cohen piece was at the end of the first hour, so to
hear it you would have had to have been listening to WETA. If you would
like to register your disappointment, you can contact WAMU. In order to
hear the piece, you can listen online at

Thank you for listening,

Morning Edition
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Postby Guest » 01/02/02 06:20 AM

There is a nice article in the Style section of the Washington Post about Al's magic shop.

I have always enjoyed the many visits to Al's. When I worked in DC, I used to go to Al's a couple of times a week and practically every Saturday.

I am sad to see it end but Al has given his entire life to the business and has other matters to tend to that are more important.

Postby Brad Jeffers » 01/03/02 04:02 PM

I visited Al's shop just twice. The first time, I was 14 years old and on vacation with my family. I snuck away from the Smithsonian and made my way to Al's shop, which was located on Pennsylvavia Ave at the time. I well remember Al and a couple of other guys demoing tricks. I'm sure I must have spent a couple of hours there! That was the highlight of the trip, for me. The second visit was 30 years later (about a year ago). I entered the shop and there was Al, still behind the counter, demoing the latest stuff. I remember thinking how great that was! It was a nice thing to see that some boyhood memories still endured. But I guess nothing stays the same forever. I wish Al all the best.
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