Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » June 17th, 2003, 9:47 am

Great memories and well told as well.

Paul, I some information that may be of interest to you. Please contact me at: diegoresearch@aol.com.

Thanks again.

Guest

Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » June 17th, 2003, 8:57 pm

I just wanted to say that I really liked Kym's post. Even as a male, I felt that closed-club air about magic shops. I was pretty intimidated by the employees and the clientele. So when most magi reminisce about the good ole days and the good ole boys, I don't have any such fond memories. I have always found magician groups, whether in magic shops or in clubs, to be exclusionary. Maybe that's the fallout from the widespread dissemination of magical knowledge. Since the magi can't exclude others based on knowledge anymore, they do so socially.

0pus

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby seraph127 » September 10th, 2003, 7:40 am

Opus, I'm glad you spoke out. I read Kym's post with a growing sense of consternation. The disappointing clincher was hearing how the old-school "brick-and-mortars" were still treating her as a second-class citizen while at least the chain stores were treating her as a valued customer. It's unsurprising, then, that she is not inclined to deride the latter below the former. I heard a few people talking about customer service, yet "the room" fell strangely silent on this point after Kym related her experiences. Until you said something, Opus, it seemed that Forum Posts might imitate Life. Perhaps no one meant it that way, but I sure hope Kym didn't leave with a sense that nothing much has changed. :mad:

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Pete Biro
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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Pete Biro » September 10th, 2003, 9:41 am

My goodness what a great thread...

Having worked at Morcom's House of Novelties (magic shop with great back room and upstairs lecture hall with stage) I still dream about those days....

Buma's - the greatest, still great with Buma Jr.
Golden Gate Magic - in San Francisco. Met Tony Curtis and Sammy Davis Jr. there when they were in town to promote movie "Houdini."

Glenn Haywood was a regular there and I became his assistant. Few know of him, but as a young man had his own TV series in the bay area.

Senor Mardo hit town for awhile and had a small shop there too.

I could go on and on, but Chosse did a great job.

When I was on the road a lot, I remember going into Karrell Fox's shop in Detroit and being treated like a king by Roy Kissell.

Tannen's (In Lou and Irving's reign) was a must.

Funny story: Someone said, "Have you been to Flosso's?" I said, "No, where is it?" The guy told me how to find the place.

I got there, opened the door and saw TOTAL CHAOS... a mess beyond description... stepped back, shut the door and left.

A few years later, when I knew a little more about Magic I gave up on Tannen's and would spend day after day in Flosso's becoming not only a "back room" member, but would wind up going out to dinner almost every night with him.

Oh did I load up on "collector's items" from Flosso.

And today it is Joe Stevens' place in Wichita that I enjoy rummaging around in the back room.

Funny, I literally never go into Hollywood Magic (I live 10 minutes away). Maybe its the lack of parking?

I really think what drives the Online Magic biz is the fact that there used to be a few thousand, at the most, customers in the entire USA... and now I hear of magic dealers online with email lists in the 30,000 range!

There are just too many magicians, too many new (re-inventions?) tricks and too much access.

You used to have to "earn your way in" to learn the real work.

stay tooned.... :genii:
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » September 10th, 2003, 10:00 am

I suspect, yes that Magic Shops as we knew them are obsolete. It may also be a death knell for magic as we know it.
I started in magic as an adut by wandering in to Mecca Magic here in NJ. The proprieter Ted Collins was a magician of the old school
He woul;dn't sell items he thought the customers weren't ready for. He'd dollar trick his new customer. Buy 5 dollar tricks, learn 5 new principles
The virtual dealers, could care less who customer is. If I buy two or three effects as a newbuie, I cant do, I stop buying. Magic stops growing
A band aid might be home based magic shops which would keep overhead down
fromn
Ford

Guest

Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » September 10th, 2003, 12:47 pm

Pete,
It almost reads as if you just discovered this thread...I had been wondering why you hadn't got in on this with Buma's so much of the focus.

A reality is that the internet is changing other businesses as well...many long established book stores, (movie/sports/TV) memorabilia stores have closed their front doors, because their profits are to be had online...and not have to deal with the public that needs to be catered to, and watched...don't need to put on a tie, no shrinkage(stealing) from off the street people. It is amazing that unlike years of browsing thru bookstores across the country, I can instantly locate copies across the country, with a variety of prices & quality.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby George Olson » September 10th, 2003, 8:28 pm

Oh my! avirtual trip down mwemory lane...

Almost every day, I took two buses from Des Plaines to The Loop in downtown Chicago. Starting at the Palmer house on the mezanine and National Magic with Vic Torsberg and Herman Homar -- and when in town, Jim Sherman. It was incredible over a couple of years, I met Jack Kodell, "Mr. Electric," Dominique (the French pickpocket), Think A drink Hofmann. etc, etc.

Then down the street to Irelands -- Francis would get me "Birthday Party's" andwas the kindest and most patient person for a teenage aspiring magish. Then around the corner to Joe Bergs -- talk about back rooms and learning.

Then over to the Drake (?) Resturant for the daily Chicago Round table Bob Parish, Chick Schoke,Herb Borin, Don Alan (Francis got me an appearance on the predecessor of the Magic Ranch),Ed Drane, Howard Bammin, Harold Stone, (best Hindu Cups and Balls routine with brass temple bells), John Platt (during college, a bunch of us would come to Chicago on the week-ends and the Gay 90's to visit and watch him perform, during the football season the fullback and the entire right side of the line, wrestling half the team.) Even after college, I would see Johnny almost every day since my career started in the 1 North LaSalle street building right across the street.

The time with John, in the shops, at the Round Table, Johnny Pauls, Schuliens, Jim Ryans and on and on, burnt magic into my soul. Today, the commitment to learning is always "Whats new?"

I kept quiet and learned. The only mail order was Abbott's, Kanters, Yogi Magic Mart -- questions always answered.

Maybe I was Pollyannaish, but as Rodney King was wont to say "...can't we all get along" everybody was helpful and seemed to be very friendly; not a lot of back biting and jealousies.

Oh well "those were the days..."

Have I dropped enough names for one note?

I've had a great few minutes

Thanks

GO

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby David Moore » September 11th, 2003, 8:05 am

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Met Tony Curtis and Sammy Davis Jr. there when they were in town to promote movie "Houdini."
Pete

Why would Sammy Davis Jr. be promoting Houdini?

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Rob Signs » September 13th, 2003, 12:24 pm

The Disneyland Store might not be where we all shop now, but I bought my very first three magic tricks (sponge balls, color changing knives, mind control) at Cyrus Cosmo's Magic Shop at Six Flags over Texas back in the 70s. I still have one of the sponge balls and the mind control. Shortly thereafter, on a trip to California, bought a couple of tricks at the magic shop at Disneyland. I don't frequent them now, but they're what got me started.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Pete Biro » September 13th, 2003, 1:10 pm

Sammy was a pal of Curtis and was just "hangin'" with him and Janet Leigh... they came by the magic shop and I wound up showing Sammy how to do a few card tricks, and he was very good with the cards already. He was a serious guy with the pasteboards. Maybe got the bug from Dean Martin?
Stay tooned.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Terry » September 13th, 2003, 3:22 pm

It was Jacksonville in 1976, when I stepped into my first real magic shop. The place was Bob Hutching's Magic Shack.

Bob had converted his detached garage into a shop years before. Bob and Carl Ferbrache used to make some really nice wood products. I still have one of his colapsable roll on "nightclub" tables.

IBM Ring 130 held their monthly meetings there. We were fortunate to have Daryl, Jamy Ian Swiss, Rex Taylor of England, and many others lecture for us.

I was also one of the last customers to see Bob before he died. Bob had suffered with a heart ailment that the doctors couldn't do anything for. Last memory I have of him was of him laying in his bed suffering to breathe. No one should have to suffer like that.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tabman » November 6th, 2003, 10:02 am

arent there any southerners here??? does anyone remembr homer hulse in atlanta??? a very important man to me in the 50s and 60s. seems like magic really left atlanta when tomfoolery closed up. that place was worth driving hours to get a good seat at the bar and then risking a dui leaving at 2am to head back to south georgia or nashville. how about porky's place in houston in the 60s and 70s. great little shop. individual attention. porky was great and called everyone "rick." als in dc worth remembering but there was another small but very nice shop in dc in the 50s. does anyone remember the magician that ran that place???

Guest

Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » November 6th, 2003, 3:36 pm

Speaking of Southerners:
Does anyone remember EDWELLS TRICK & NOVELTY, in Macon, Georgia? It was on 2nd street, downtown...run by Alice Wells, the widow of Ed Wells,(aka "Webster the MasterMind").
She sold both magic, novelties, and occult/religious items...by the 1960's selling much more occult/religious/new-age stuff.
I'm interested in those who have memories of the place.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Steve Hook » November 6th, 2003, 4:23 pm

Martinelz Magic Shop in St. Petersburg, FL, was a good from the '50s until the early '80s. Anyone ever go there??

Currently, Raleigh, NC, has a good one: The Magic Corner, owned by Jon Ferrante.

I also enjoyed visiting Misdirections in SF.

Steve

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Steve Bryant » November 6th, 2003, 5:57 pm

Martinelz was the first magic shop I entered, around '58 when we moved there briefly, during my junior high years. I bought a penetration frame and still have it. I remember my dad complaining that Bob Nelson's Encyclopedia of Mentalism didn't look like an encyclopedia to him.

Guest

Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » November 6th, 2003, 6:12 pm

Tabman ....The other magic shop in D.C. was Harry Baker and Dolly Snow. While we are naming the old shops Earl Edwards in Norfolk,Va., Phil Thomas in Baltimore,Md., Mike Kanter in Phaledaphoa,Pa alsk Jack Chanin ,Ed Turner at Arlane nad Satin all Philly. Jimmy Swoger at Reglows in Pittsburg and Flosso, Tannen's and Circle Magic in N.Y....Mike :p

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Bruce Arnold » November 6th, 2003, 7:27 pm

Martinelz Magic Mart was where I really became interested in Magic. Martin and his Wife, Maria, treated me like family for quite a few years, and I even used to occasionally watch the shop when they had a show booked. I really miss the shop, but even more, I miss the owners.
Bruce Arnold

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Tabman
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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tabman » November 7th, 2003, 8:07 am

thanks mike, harry baker and dolly... thats it. ive been going nuts trying to remember that name. my old granny used to take me by there in the 50s coming up from her home in virginia. she had been a big fan of blackstone sr and knew a lot of magicians. i dont remember how old i was but after a few visits to harrys shop he followed us out to the car and shook hands with me. i didnt want to wash it and my family found out how odd i was at that time!!! :cool: steve, your comment about your dad's doubt about the encyclopedia is good!!! haha. there was another good shop in atlanta in the 70s, b and b magic. nashville has had a couple of shops but i dont think there is one here anymore.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tommy Brown » November 7th, 2003, 8:45 am

Originally posted by tabman:
nashville has had a couple of shops but i dont think there is one here anymore.
There was talk a few months ago of something opening at Opry Mills in Nashville, but I don't know if it ever happened. The closest magic shop to Nashville as far as I know is in Chattanooga. I go there quite often and I know guys come down from Nashville on occasion.
Tommy

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Tabman
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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tabman » November 7th, 2003, 9:27 am

a magic shop in opry mills??!? opry mills is definately the high rent district. i know some folks that are paying $6000 a month for a clothing store space. maybe magic masters can afford it though?? i can see em now, stoppin by the big bass pro shop in opry mills to pick up a new deer rifle, some cartridges and some hip boots then going next door to the magic shop for a six pack of thumb tips. chattanooga??? i used to sell wands to a shop in chattanooga but i dont remember the name of it offhand. i wonder if its the same outfit??? hope so. i like to see folks stay in business.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tommy Brown » November 7th, 2003, 6:39 pm

Originally posted by tabman:
chattanooga??? i used to sell wands to a shop in chattanooga but i dont remember the name of it offhand. i wonder if its the same outfit??? hope so. i like to see folks stay in business.
Chattanooga Magic and Fun. It's been there at least twenty years or so.
Tommy

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Tabman
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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tabman » November 7th, 2003, 7:47 pm

thats it!!! magic and fun. thanks for reminding me.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tom Frank » November 10th, 2003, 9:08 am

I grew up hanging out at Haines House of Cards in Cincinnati, Ohio. They're still in business and so am I. I will celebrate 1 year here in Seattle with Seattle Magic!! Magic Shops are alive and kicking and provide something that the internet cannot. . . real time, live interaction with a humans. Hard core jam sessions! :D

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Oliver Corpuz » November 10th, 2003, 4:05 pm

One of the most annoying magic shopping practices I've noticed are magician browsers, that visit the local magic shop to peruse the newest tricks and books to make their magic buying decisions, then after spending the whole day at the magic store looking at everything and being waited upon, to then go home and order their magic books and magic tricks from a internet only virtual magic shop to save a few bucks.

Many Internet only Magic shops have steeply discounted their merchandise to make sales in a highly competitive electronic market. Often, many of these virtual magic shops are unable to turn out a profit with such low margins and eventually go out of business. Because brick and mortar magic shops have higher overhead, they can't compete with the internet only store discounts. Local magic shops are barely able to compete because they can offer something that virtual magic shops can not, namely to provide the ability to personally look at and touch the items that are for sale and to see live demonstrations of the magic.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't shop around to get a good deal. There is nothing wrong with doing that. I just don't believe it is right to go to a local magic shop with absolutely no intention of buying anything. Going there to just get an up-close look at the merchandise to decide what to buy later from a virtial magic shop on the internet is wrong.

I think that if you go to a brick and mortor magic shop and take advantage of the ability to look at and see an item up close, ask questions about the item, and loiter there at the shop all day, that if you intend on buying the items you look at, you should do the right thing and buy the magic there at the magic store... not to go home and order it on-line to save a couple bucks. If you want to take advantage of the convenience and amenities of a local magic shop, then it is only fair that you support local shops by buying magic from them. It may cost a little more to do this, but by patronizing these shops you are helping ensure they stay in business so you have a place to go and look at magic ticks and books up close, have a place to hang out, a place to see lectures, and a place to see magic live. Local magic shops will soon be obsolete if magicians don't support them by buying merchandise there.

Is it just me that feels this way? I'm sure the folks that like to save money by photocopying lecture notes and make illegal copies of magic tapes and DVDs, and those that want to save time in making up their magic acts by stealing other's original performing ideas and material probably don't have a problem with it. My fear is that the magic community has a lot more members that don't care, than do. This makes me feel sad.

- Oliver

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tabman » November 10th, 2003, 4:44 pm

i was the in cincy this summer and thought about going by haines house of cards. when i was on the road with kozak we spent a month in pittsburgh working the funny bone and theres a great shop there. cant remember the name but small with a backroom the pittsburgh magic club met there. we had a great time at that magic club meeting. a great bunch of guys (howdy to doc if you're on here). magic shops like that pull people together. i bet your shop in seattle is like that!!!
-=tabman

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Guest » November 10th, 2003, 8:17 pm

Tab:
The shop is the Cuckoo's Nest. And it's a great shop. I have found that almost without exception, the folks who run magic shops are an absolute joy to be around. I travel quite a bit in my line of work, and have had the pleasure of visiting with folks like Brad Burt in San Diego, Denny Haney (of course) in Baltimore, as well as magic shop owners in Pittsburgh, Palm Springs, even in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

I tell my wife that most wives have to worry about what their husbands are doing when they travel; mine only has to worry about at which magic shop I'll end up.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Bill Duncan » November 10th, 2003, 10:25 pm

Originally posted by tabman:
i bet your shop in seattle is like that!!!
Tabman,
And you'd be right! But the only way to know for sure is to drop in sometime...

Seattle is hosting PCAM next year and it's gonna be a treat. You should come and bring your wares.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby Tabman » November 11th, 2003, 10:48 am

the cookoos nest. steve, thats it. great name for a shop. extremely nice folks in pittsburgh. those guys like to hang out and do magic, laugh and have fun. kozak did an impromptu lecture that night on broken and restored thread tricks. with his personality and talent for magic it was spectacular how you can fool a room full of grown men (myself included) with some thread and a little mojo.

bill i might take you up on that sometime although i cant do much traveling these days. from one extreme to the other. :) good luck with that pcam convention. i promoted a close up magic symposium in 1990 in an effort to bring the magic to me but i lost so much money on it that i had to go back on the road for awhile. :eek:

now i have a nice building that the recording studio is in and ive been thinking about converting part of it over to a lecture suite for passing magic lecturers. ive got a former magic shop owner friend magic club exec coming out to check out my idea so maybe i can get something started again and have a little fun and some laughs, do some magic and not have to leave home.

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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby mrgoat » November 13th, 2003, 6:14 am

Tower Records to close due to people being able to buy CDs online cheaper

Borders to cease trading cos people can buy books from Amazon MUCH cheaper

Oh wait...

They haven't have they?

Wonder why?

What are they offering that you cannot get online?

Give a customer a reason to go into your shop and they will.

The reason to visit an online store is to save money.

What is the reason to visit your bricks and morter shop?

It's not that hard, surely?

2061x
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Re: Are Magic Shops Obsolete?

Postby 2061x » November 13th, 2003, 8:02 am

Could someone list the good magic shops in Orange County, CA. Hollywood Magic and Brad Burt's in San Diego are a bit far of a drive for me. Thanks for any info.

Michael


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