(Close Window)
Topic: Magic in California
Message: Posted by: MrSteve (Jul 17, 2015 11:41AM)
Despite the many dozens of topics on this excellent site, I wasn't quite sure where to put this one. If it's in the wrong place I hope our able administrators will relocate it. You might call this post "Flavors of the Present."

As a native Californian now in his 60s, I have watched magic ebb and flow in the Golden State. Yes, we have lost some brick and mortar magic shops as discussed elsewhere in this forum. But it also occured to me that we should perhaps have a 2015 "benchmark"of those businesses still thriving. So, mostly off the top of my head but with the assistance of the Internet, here is a list of many of magic's commerical outposts here in California. Please feel free to add to to or correct this list!

My conclusion is that we have perhaps the strongest "infrastructure for magic" of just about anywhere. It's a good feeling. Here's the list:

Magic Shops and Businesses in California

*Bricks and mortar magic shop

Johnson Products, Inc.

Best Magic & Costume*
Main Street Magic/Houdinis* (Disneyland)

Owen Magic Supreme*


Canyon Country
Dave Powell Magic Company

Grand Illusions*

The Magic Café

Hocus Pocus

Granada Hills
Fantastic Magic Company

Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.
(Magic Castle Retail Shop)
Hollywood Toys and Costumes*

Huntington Beach
The House of Enchantment

Los Angeles
John Gaughan & Associates
Mesika Magic

California Magic Dinner Theatre and Store*

Magic City, Inc.

Magic Words

Rancho Cordova
Murphys Magic Supplies, Inc.
Penguin Magic

Magikraft Studios

San Diego
Abneys Magic Shop* (Old Town)
3 Generations of Magic* (Seaport Village)

San Francisco
Houdinis* (Pier 39)
Misdirections Magic Shop*

Santa Monica

Santa Rosa
Shuffles Magical Ice Cream Shoppe, Inc.*


Studio City
The Magic Apple*

3 Generations of Magic*

Magic Galore and More*

I'm sure there are more--and I'd love to hear your comments.
Message: Posted by: MrSteve (Jul 17, 2015 11:49AM)
Happy to add one more listing

Tracy, California
MJM Magic
Message: Posted by: MrSteve (Jul 17, 2015 01:29PM)
And another one:

San Diego, California
Dan and Dave Industries, Inc.
Message: Posted by: BeachCat (Jul 24, 2015 09:05AM)
Great list Steve! I was at The Magic Apple in Studio City less than a month ago and got great service. I always recommend to anyone who is looking at this list, to look up the store, check their hours and call first before visiting. Some of these are less of a walk in store than others and sometimes adjust their own hours according to their needs. (Understandable when it's one person only watching the shop)
Message: Posted by: jcarruth19 (Nov 7, 2016 05:05PM)
Does anyone remember a magic shop in Walnut Creek, CA, circa 1965-1967? It was near a Merle Norman cosmetics store, and my mother would drop me off there for an hour or so whenever we went into Walnut Creek. I was a pre-teen then. If I could get the exact name, I could Google it and see if there's a picture of it available somewhere. It was my first exposure to a real magic shop, other than the one on main street in Disneyland. Had some fun times there, spending my allowance on tricks.
Message: Posted by: Feral Chorus (Nov 8, 2016 09:21AM)

Memory is a little hazy on this and my time period is a little off from what you are looking for, but there was a shop called Martin's Theatrical Supply on Locust St. that sold magic in the early 70's.
Message: Posted by: jcarruth19 (Nov 8, 2016 12:23PM)
Feral Chorus,

Thank you so much for responding and helping out with the memories. No, I don't think that's it. This was a traditional magic store, in that, in those days, half the store was devoted to off-color "adult" material, and as a kid, I was not allowed into that part of the store. You had to be 18 or older to cross that line, and there actually was a line painted on the floor. No theatrical makeup or supplies that I recall seeing there. I'd seen other magic stores configured this way, so as a kid, I took it for granted that all magic stores must be this way. But I liked the magic tricks half of the store. The people were friendly and very patient, as a kid asks a lot of questions and uses up a lot of their time without spending much money. But on the other hand, I would imagine that kids made up 80% of their business, with the odd professional here and there coming in to buy supplies as needed.

It seems to me it was on or near Broadway, pretty much the commercial center of town. I'll see if the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce has any memory of such a store.
Message: Posted by: Feral Chorus (Nov 8, 2016 12:35PM)
Got my first TT (metal), sponge balls, marked stripper deck and a packet trick I never could figure out at Martin's. I would have been too young to know the place you describe.
Message: Posted by: jcarruth19 (Nov 8, 2016 12:37PM)
Did it have a line in the store, marking off an adult section, where you had to be 18 yrs old to enter?
Message: Posted by: Feral Chorus (Nov 8, 2016 12:56PM)
That is not something I remember at all, and I enjoyed crossing the line in those days.
Message: Posted by: jcarruth19 (Nov 8, 2016 01:23PM)
If it had a section of off-color adult jokes, including fake dog poop and plastic barf for sale, you would have remembered. As a kid, I didn't like to see this stuff in a magic shop, but I think I realized that that they didn't sell enough magic tricks to young magicians to make their rent, so they had to sell "joke" stuff that appealed to the non-magic public. I became friends with the son of the owner of the store, and he would tell me things like "Yeah, this shxx (stuff) pays the rent, so we have to sell it." Apparently, he didn't like it in his store, either.
Message: Posted by: jcarruth19 (Nov 9, 2016 02:15AM)
It was called Morcom's House of Novelties at 1521 N Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA. They had another store in Oakland at 1539 San Pablo Ave. Magician Pete Biro worked there as a teenager.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Mar 26, 2020 06:02PM)
Bert Wheelers on Hollywood Blv. /// Joe Bergs , Up stairs off Hollywood Blv. also Del O'Dell had one - in the 40's - 70's, that I remember see my post -this forum - March 2020. Ralph (russo) Rousseau
Message: Posted by: EZrhythm (Nov 2, 2020 07:02AM)
In Los Gatos at the mountainous edge of Silicon Valley- The Ghastly Gallimaufry
That is where I bought Tenyo's, Squeeze Play