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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Joe Berg's Magic shop (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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san leandro, ca
157 Posts

Profile of scottasf
Was up stairs from Hollywood Magic on Hollywood Blvd.

Oh, the wonderous things I saw there!!!

I met Joe, Hy and Ronnie.

I was only a kid then, but at the time when I was about 12 years old, I was teaching a basic magic class at the Beverly Hills YMCA I would get all the materials from Bergs. Also, I remember Burt Greens Magic Corner at Hollywood and Vine. Jules Lenier was working the counter there. Eventually Green closed up shop there and moved into an office building accross the street. There I saw Earl Nelson behind the counter. One day he demonstrated the Ghost Ring for me and a friend. WOW!!!!! That was magic!!!

2008/2009 President Oakland Magic Circle

"Life would be so wonderful if we only knew what to do with it." - Greta Garbo
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Snohomish, Washington
529 Posts

Profile of irossall
I met Joe Berg and his wife (don't remember her name) at the 1973 TAOM convention in Texas. My Friend and Employer Louis Berkie was a long time Friend of Joe Berg and we spent a lot of time together and had a lot of meals and conversation with the Berg's. The Berg's were very friendly and were a lot of fun to listen to as they told many interesting stories of the Magic business and the Friends that they have.
I was their bellboy the last day at the Hotel, they were running late to get to the airport so rather than have them wait for the bellboy, I helped carry their luggage to the waiting taxi (they did not travel light).
I went to his shop a few years later but it was not open which I thought was strange because it was a Saturday afternoon, never made it back.
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Lancaster CA
60 Posts

Profile of George50
Does any know the name of the man and his wife who bought Joe Berg's shop? It was in the late 70's he and his wife were very nice and he had a real funny guy working for him name Jak (I think that is how he spelled it). I was just starting out in magic then and he treated my great when I was in his shop. I just don't remember his name.
Thanks George
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Inner circle
Teacher and Legend
2898 Posts

Profile of magicians
I met Joe berg in 83' or 85', his last year with the shop in LA. I had just introduced my Arm Box illusion and the protoype had arrived by special courier. The gimmick was the poorest made and joe berg came to the resuce with some 1950' vintage gimmicks necessary for my success at the convention. I was just a magic pup back then and had no idea who I was dealing with.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
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Las Vegas
68 Posts

Profile of cubreporter
I used to hang out almost every Saturday in Joe's shop on Hollywood Blvd. It was upstairs, down a hall, and it was a single gigantic warehouse room full of everything - costumes, books, magic, all piled up everywhere with nothing organized at all. I loved every part of it. This was 1977-1979, and Hollywood Magic down the street had so many working behind the counter. I remember seeing many working the counter - Earl Nelson, Old Irving (always worked the pocket magic counter on the right side of the shop, hot rod, jumping gems, nickels to dimes, etc.) Art Karno, Michael Skinner.... the list goes on. Those were the days.
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Inner circle
1949 Posts

Profile of dmkraig
I spent so many hours there! I was a young kid and had to take two busses from the West Side to Hollywood. But what an incredible sense of wonder, just staring at all the strange and unusual things. I remember buying a flaming head illusion that had been made for "Lost in Space." I remember sitting and watching Joe make a stripper deck for me with a special cutter. Once, Ronnie gave me a ride home. When I turned 21 Ronnie encouraged me to become a member of the Castle. It was quite a place.
NMC Lives
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Profile of NMC Lives
The name of the fellow and his wife who purchased Joe's shop was Larry DuGuay. DuGuay continued to sell Joe's inventory located at the same address. Once the inventory was sold off, DuGuay sold other portions of the rights he purchased from Joe. DuGuay also purchased the rights to the National Magic Company. DuGuay continued to sale a number of the NMC items until June 1979. He sold the rights to all of NMC (including the vast number of instruction sheets, remaining stock, equipmentr rights, catalogs, and all advertisement copy) to Kirk Kirkham. Kirkham continued to make a number of the original NMC products and increased the line by adding a few select products like "The Ultra-Matic Rising Cards", "The Utility Pocket Slates", and "Linking Finger Rings". All these rights and ownership of NMC were sold to Gary Frank in 1996. Frank has continued to offer the remaining instruction sheets as well as continuing the NMC name by introducing a few of the select products from catalogs of the past.
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Special user
702 Posts

Profile of jstreiff
I have fond memories of Berg's shop in Hollywood. In the 60s I bought amongst other things, my Rice, Orange and Checkers and a wonderful beautiful sucker die box attributed to Owen magic. Beautiful action and construction. But the greatest thrill for me, probably not more than 12 years old at the time, was meeting John Scarne. He showed me a couple of wondrous card effects and then introduced himself before he waved to Joe and walked downstairs. That was one of the most significant moments in my conjuring youth.
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Inner circle
So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
1077 Posts

Profile of Russo
My Wife and I were standing behind Tommy Cooper and his wife- in Joe Bergs Shop, Tommys' wife kept saying "no Tommy -you spent enough -NO TOMMY" Joe was a great guy this was before the 70's.
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