The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Mecca Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

AlmostAmazingJames
View Profile
New user
80 Posts

Profile of AlmostAmazingJames
Does anyone remember this wonderful shop in Bloomfield New Jersey?
Bill Scarlett
View Profile
Veteran user
Vermont
364 Posts

Profile of Bill Scarlett
Yes I remember Mecca Magic. Not the cleanest or most well organized place but it was a great little magic shop. I went there once around halloween and the place was overrun with costumes. Despite those quibbles, I loved going there as a kid. Back then magic seemed much more secret and out of the mainstream. Mecca was my favorite, til my dad took me to Tannen's.
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6439 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
Mecca Magic began as a converted front parlor in Ted Collin's house in Newark. Then he moved it to East Orange, on main street near City Hall, where I first discovered it in my gangly teenager years. I can't remember why he moved, but it may have been a fire, and the store ended up on South Harrison street, still in East Orange. That's where the magic club started, in the basement which we all helped convert into a meeting-room / theater. Ted wore a fez during his act, so Jim Gerrish got the idea of having all the magic club members wear red felt fezes, with rank insignia on them- plain for beginner, up to super-dooper fancy for a grand wizard. Some of the other guys I remember from the club were Mystic Myron (Lowenstein),Bob Cassidy, Phil Jennings, Fred Collins and his sister Bunnie Collins ... my memory's kind of dusty and the cobwebs get in the way.
This time I believe it was a fire that put an end to the location and Ted moved Mecca Magic to Bloomfield, right on the main Bloomfield Avenue. Finally, it moved to Dodd Street in Bloomfield where the first posters remember the place. Compared to the previous locations, the final Bloomfield store was gigantic and spacious, with a meeting room upstairs which was used for the club and for many wonderful lectures.
As far as being clean, it was. Ted's wife saw to that. However, it was always clutered in every location and I can't imagine a magic store that is not cluttered. I wouldn't feel at home in an antiseptic magic store (not that I know any).
The magicians always did have a distain for the Halloween costumes and the joke sections, and at one time the Bloomfield store was filled with greeting cards. The distainful magicians didn't have to pay the bills, however, and Ted never discouraged youngsters who just came in to watch the magic demonstrations and 'hang around.' He was a good salesman and could always come up with some little gimmick you just had to buy and take home, even if it only cost a buck. Long before my time, Ted was a pitchman down at the Jersey shore, and no one could sell a Svengali deck or a stripper deck the way Ted could.
Well, I've reminisced long enough. Time to get back to 'the home' if I can still remember the way.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
jwebyra
View Profile
Regular user
New Jersey
140 Posts

Profile of jwebyra
I used to love going to Mecca in Bloomfield and seeing Fred, Wendell, Bill, Jim, and even Mrs. Collins. I know the business was having problems and Fred had to close the store. I miss going down there.
Jaz
View Profile
Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6113 Posts

Profile of Jaz
Mecca was the best shop in northern NJ.
If I needed anything I could get it there.
I drifted away from magic about the time Ted passed away.
When I recently returned I was saddened to hear of it's closing.

I remember Ted, Mrs. Collins, Fred, Wendell, Bill and Myron but what was the other older fellow's name? His last name began with a "Z".
TrickeryMagic
View Profile
New user
NJ
77 Posts

Profile of TrickeryMagic
Hi Jaz.
Could have been Hal Zeve who could classic force behind his back up until his last fews months here in this world!
Jaz
View Profile
Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6113 Posts

Profile of Jaz
Thanks Howard.
It was Hal Zeve.
I remembered the last name after my post but couldn't pull his first name out of my memory.
Hal was a delight and always ready to do some magic.
I miss those days.
Thanks again.
jwebyra
View Profile
Regular user
New Jersey
140 Posts

Profile of jwebyra
Of course how can we forget Gene who was there until the mid 90's when he moved to Califonia. He is the on ewho gave me directions to to the store.
PennyMagic4U
View Profile
New user
78 Posts

Profile of PennyMagic4U
My first mail order magic trick came from Mecca Magic. I still have some of the old catalogs. I have a sales slip from the 49 Dodd St location. It was magical in itself to get the magic trick by mail. For a young boy from Texas - Bloomfield was a world away. I thought they made they magic trick there at Mecca. Wonderful memory thanks.
JCPENNY
Simply Magic
PennyMagic4U by Jerry Penny
Dennis
View Profile
Regular user
124 Posts

Profile of Dennis
The very first magic shop I ever went to!

I was twelve my friend and I cracked our piggy banks
open, got together all the money I could.

Walked across two towns to get a bus to the Newark
Bus station (not the safest place for two young kids
back then - around '72) - transferred to a bus to
East Orange (we had NO idea where we where going,
weren't even bright enough to take the address with us!).

Randomly got off the bus in downtown E.Orange.
My friend John said "now where to" - I looked around,
and said... "how about there!" Mecca was right across the street!

Ted sold me my first Svengali Deck and a p*ll.

When we got back on the bus, I didn't have enough money for the fair.

I had to go back to the shop I asked Ted to take back the p*ll. He did.

I grew up in Mecca Magic, in all their locations. I was there EVERY Saturday!
Met great magicians, saw great lectures, and it was always FUN!

What wonderful people! They treated me like family.

And Hal was a dear Friend.
I loved that place and that family.

A bit of me died when they closed the Dodd St. store.

All my best to the Collins.
And a quick hi to Wendell.
seforeman
View Profile
New user
86 Posts

Profile of seforeman
My first magic shop. I went to his store in Brick Church, then later outside Newark. I never knew the gentleman's name who ran it., but he was a very nice guy. I bought my flying carpet from him as we'll as a boat load of other magic. Reading above, I gather his name was Ted. I miss that store.
Stuart Foreman
malamoney
View Profile
New user
72 Posts

Profile of malamoney
This is where it all began for me. My dad used to take me to the Dodd St. location (exit 148 on the Parkway) once a month and we spend a few hours in the back learning invaluable material. I was very sad to see them close their doors. They were really great people that ran that store. I still have some of their old catalogs.
WoogyModel
View Profile
New user
1 Post

Profile of WoogyModel
@Spellbinder - today I woke up needing something good to hold onto (the past year and a half have been rough for me), and suddenly I thought of Mecca Magic, so in turn I did a web search for any mention of it. I was happy to find that you and other people posted such great stories about it here, and that you all remember it so well. For me, those days were rough, the neighborhood was going down the tubes, so seeing that oasis of kindness and fun and humanity meant so much to me. I recall both of the locations in East Orange (I lived in Vailsburg & attended St. Joseph's in East Orange). Honestly I felt like that was the only good thing in East Orange. Thank you again for sharing the rich and wonderful history of the store with us.

Best wishes.
pf70ds
View Profile
New user
34 Posts

Profile of pf70ds
Mecca magic was a great shop . It is very much missed
Kbuck54
View Profile
Veteran user
331 Posts

Profile of Kbuck54
THE First Magic shop I went to in Indiana, was Saddamn'a , The owner also operated a heating and cooling business out of the shop. He only had one arm, his other, he had lost ina furnace explosion. He had a grasping hook for that hand. I tell you what, he could still out manipulate most of us.That must have been some 50 years ago.
Keith
SHAZAM!
M. Tesla
View Profile
Regular user
Coral Springs, Florida
152 Posts

Profile of M. Tesla
I was living in West Paterson, NJ (now Woodland Park) when my brother was injured in a horseback riding accident and I went back to Cleveland to see him, with my wife...while I was there we stayed in my old bedroom, and I re-discovered the magic equipment in the drawers of my bureau, and thought it would be fun to play around with it so I packed it in a box to take back to NJ, and attempted to take it on the plane as a carry-on...wrong move...they insisted on inspecting it and began pulling out all sorts of stuff...cards, flowers, silks, a P&L change bag, and who knows what else...I remember a guy standing a few spaces behind me in line yelling out, "Hey! You got a rabbit in there too?" Pretty funny...everyone got a good laugh...

Back in NJ I discovered Ted Collins, and Mecca Magic, in East Orange...oh, wow...and that's when the bug bit harder...all the stuff in all the bins behind Ted...I started doing children's birthday shows assisted by my wife, and made some nice side money...met Bob Cassidy there...I miss the store and the guys that hung out there...Ted was my first teacher, took lessons from him...

Anyone happen to remember Wendell Sater? I've been trying to get in touch with him but misplaced his phone number...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
GlennLawrence
View Profile
New user
Randolph NJ
9 Posts

Profile of GlennLawrence
For as long as I've lived in NJ, I'm sorry I never made it to Mecca. I wish I had taken the time to get there. The only brick & mortar shop I know of in NJ that's currently operating is Morley's in Butler. Still haven't made it there, either!

Glenn
Rizzo
View Profile
Inner circle
East Coast
2702 Posts

Profile of Rizzo
Mecca was the best. Good times there for many years as well as lectures up stairs ! Miss that place.
Why call it common sense when it's so rare ?
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Mecca Magic (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2017 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL