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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What was the name of your first magic shop? (19 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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riomaarikado
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I thought my first magic shop was
"The Magic Hall" (Singapore)
Dan Paulus
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Charlie's House of Fun in Phoenix, AZ

Later in High School I frequented Loftus Novelty & Magic in Salt Lake City.
There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. - Aristotle
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Cyberqat
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Flosso/Hornman in NYC.

Originally started by Houdini, run for most of the time I patronized it by the *wonderful* Al Flosso.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
MT
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Misdirections is the best in San Francisco. The owner is knowledgeable and helpful.
Dougini
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Quote:
On 2010-06-27 19:18, Cyberqat wrote:
Flosso/Hornman in NYC.

Originally started by Houdini, run for most of the time I patronized it by the *wonderful* Al Flosso.


Yes! Although my first was Disneyland in 1969, the first REAL magic shop was (I think) on the sixth floor on a side street in Manhattan called The Flosso-Hornmann Magic Company, run by an intimidating little guy by the name of Al Flosso. "Stand up STRAIGHT my boy!" I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 1970, and I was 14.

I don't know how long I spent at that dusty old shop. He showed me stuff that blew me away! I wanted to buy everything he showed me, but he was firm about me starting small, and working my way up.

He finally asked me how much money I had, and when I told him, he sold me a set of cups and balls, and told me to put the rest back in my pocket. "I never take ALL of a man's money." Or something like that...He worked with me on those cups, over and over...then showed me a little more. When my Dad came and picked me up (I called him and told him where I was), on the way home he said, "That guy is quite a character!" And for the rest of the time I was in NYC, he forbade me from going back there!

Up until recently, I still had those cups and balls. I'll always have fond memories of that day at Flosso-Hornmann!

Doug
Cyberqat
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Aw. Great story but your Dad didn't "get it." Al genuinely loved magic and kids, and loved introducing one to the other. I can't think of many other people I would rather have MY kid spend all day hanging around with Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Cyberqat
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Last time I was to Disney World there was a genuine Magicians shop in downtown Disney. That was a few years ago.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Anatole
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Actually, Martinka's was founded in 1877 by Francis and Antonio Martinka. Houdini bought the store in 1919. When I visited the store, it was owned by Al Flosso. The current website is at
http://www.martinka.com/
but the last I remember they were mainly a magic auction service.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
MrBadGuy
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Mine was Tannen's in NYC years and years ago. They were very helpful, albeit trying to get me to but the latest stuff like a used card salesman, but not as sleazy -- they were just running a business, I suppose. Again they were very helpful and generous with their time. I remember buying some videos and a bunch of gimmicked decks. I knew very little about magic at the time but I had a blast there.
Dougini
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I remember the original Tannen's...Tony Spina was running it at the time. It was my second visit to New York City. I didn't buy anything, just hung out and watched some real mind blowers. Someone introduced me to the Miller Holdout, and showed me a cut and restored rope trick that blew me away! Sadly, I don't remember his name...

Doug
Cyberqat
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There was sort of a gentle war between Tannen's fans and Flosso fans when I was a kid in NYC. I've already revealed myself to be on the Flosso team so what follows should not be unexpected, but my reaction to the two stores was this:

At Tannen's you could get anything.

At Flosso you *would* get what you needed.

I think Tannens was great for serious magicians who already knew what they wanted, but I think Al Flosso was much better at coaching new blood.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
shaneking
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Davenports in London. It is actually in the underground station of Charing Cross and has been there since 1898!
If you're not looking for it you won't find it!
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Sydney, Australia
jeffdell
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Hank Lees Magic Factory in Boston Massachusetts. Hank used to have a much larger store front and he has moved it to the surrounding town of Medford, MA.
Dougini
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Jeff, I remember Hank Lee's in Boston! It was on Essex or near there. In what we used to call the combat zone. Boston's a great city!

Doug
Cyberqat
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Ive been there, living in this area. I'm on their email list.

Honestly though, in general I don't find HL's prices competitive unless they are having a significant sale.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Dr. Delusion
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The first magic shop I ever went into was one called here in Eugene that went by the name of " What's Next ? "
Bob.
bluedragon
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Has anyone hear'd of Peter Diamond here in the UK, a place called Preston. This 1 my first magic shop I ever wen't to and had lot's of demo's performed by the fabulous Brian Berry, what a legend! I also met the wonderful Peter Diamond and bought one of his stage illusion catalogue's and wow, I couldn't belive how much he charged for his custom made stage illusion's! I was just 11 when I started up doing magic and my 1st trick that I bought from Peter Diamond's was a cardboard hopping rabbit's or something! 2 coloured rabbit's jumped from envelope to envelope and at the end of the routine, I produced 2 totally different coloured rabbit's, wow! (ahem!)

Neil.
JamestheMagician
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I go to one of the only ones if not the only one left in my state left in my state

""Seattle's market magic shop" its also known as "" Market Magic & Novelty Shop""

its the only one I have the only one I have ever had its still an awsome shop
karnak
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I grew up in the metro Dallas area. First magic shop I patronized, however, was Top Hat Magic Co. of Evanston, IL -- via mail order. Their catalog cost me ten cents, and as a kid it was actually easier to send away for stuff than to finnagle a car ride all the way from the outermost suburbs to remotest downtown Dallas, where Douglas (later Jeffries) Magicland was located.

Of course later on I did finnagle such rides, but I still kept buying at least as much from Top Hat (via mail) than from Magicland (in person). Top Hat always had slightly better prices, which made me think Magicland was overpriced (their catalog cost a whole quarter!).

I'd love to be able to browse through an old Top Hat catalog right now, just for nostalgia's sake. (It was bigger than Magicland's, too!)
For a supernatural chiller mixing magic (prestidigitation, legerdemain) with Magic (occultism, mysticism), check out my novel MAGIC: AN OCCULT THRILLER at http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Occult-Thriller-Reed-Hall/dp/1453874836
Vlad_77
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Swoger's House of Enchantment in Somerset, PA

I remember being THRILLED the night before going! I couldn't sleep. I was actually going to a magic shop! This was SERIOUS stuff for a 13 year old. I had started with magic when I was roughly 8 along the usual lines of getting a magic set for Christmas, etc. Books were limited to what I could find in the bookstore from Dover and the public library. When I was 11 I bought my first two REAL books: The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, and Hugard's Card Manipulations. These two well loved copies are with me now still Smile

So the next day two (to me) older magicians - they were both in their early 30's, lol how perspectives do change - picked me up and we drove to Swoger's. It was a LOOOONG ride to me - 45 minutes. THAT is an ETERNITY for a kid about to enter the rarefied world of "the magic shop."

A few years later when I became driving age, I would make the trip down there. Jim Swoger became my only face to face mentor. He was very old school and inculcated in me the proper attitude about keeping magic safe, respecting its masters, and that above all, magic is a performing art.

In his later years, Jim seemed to change. It was unfortunate really. Fred Becker and I were regular students of his, but, he seemed to just become quite bitter. That makes me sad. He had told Fred he would never make it in magic. I am GLAD my old mentor was wrong. Fred is one of the most successful and talented magicians in the cruise business.

Still, I have many fond memories of Jim and that dusty shop. I learned a LOT there and though things turned bitter at the end, that shop and factory in the beautiful mountain town of Somerset, PA are still very much a part of the memories of my heart.

Rest now in peace Jim Smile

Ahimsa,
Vlad

PS: Swoger was well known in the thirties, forties, and fifties. He was one of the world's most exacting illusion builders and collectors prize Jim's work. Jay Leslie owns the rights to everything now.
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