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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Bentley's trading Post (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

stine
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TN
152 Posts

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Is there anyone out there from SoCal that remembers Bentley's trading Post. It was the first magic store I ever saw. I bought Bobos coin magic and Bert Allertons book on close up as well as my first Tarbell.

I also went to a lecture by Arnold Furst who demo'd Fresh fish. That was my entry intro magic. stine
irossall
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Snohomish, Washington
529 Posts

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Yes, growing up in Cypress California I do remember Bentley and his trading post (pawnshop). In 1964 & 1965 I purchased most of the item's in his catalog and when I got my driver's license in 1969 Bentley's was the first place I went.
When I first went there I was disappointed with the fact that it was a pawnshop with a small area in the back devoted to Magic but soon got over my shock when Mr. Bentley introduced himself and started to show me things I had not yet purchased.
I remember Mr. Bentley as a very large and friendly man always wearing a coon skin cap.
Between Bentley's Trading Post and the Elbee Magic Company in Texas, I kept the mailman very busy with my mail orders from the years 1962-1969. My bedroom looked like a well stocked Magic Shop.
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kenb123
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Orange County, CA
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I came searching in this forum not expecting anyone to remember Bentley's. I grew up in So Cal and was was very into magic in the late 60s, early 70s. I would take the bus at least once a week to Bentley's. Back then your choices were Bentley's, Los Alamitos Magic(Stan Allen's place), Disneyland, or Knott's - unless you wanted to drive all the way up to Hollywood Magic.

Bentley had good prices and was always very nice and helpful. He had illusion you could rent alos. The surrounding area sucked.
irossall
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Snohomish, Washington
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Was Stan Allen's place also known as B&H Magic (or The B&H School of Magic)? B&H was one of my "Hangouts" and also where I took a course in Magic with Mike Cavney as one of my teachers.
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kenb123
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Orange County, CA
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The reason I put "Stan Allen's Place" was that I couldn't remember the name. B&H doesn't sound right, but you may be right becuase I also took a course there with Mike Caveney as the instructor.
Dave Lewis
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Anaheim, California
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Ben T. Lee. That's what I heard him call himeself one time. I was maybe 14 or 15 at the time, which I think was 1969-70. The shop was on 4th St. in Santa Ana. The first time I ever saw the "Imp Bottle" was when he showed it to me over the high counter in that shop, which was also a knick-knack shop with all kinds of junk for sale. The magic was just a portion of the store. He had long, stringy hair and fat fingers. He wore a black vest. I bought a couple of things from him but preferred to go up the freeway to Joe and Ron Berg's place in Hollywood.
RS1963
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Inner circle
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I went into that shop many years ago while on a vacation with My parents. I had to have been about 12 or so. I bought My first set of Chinese Sticks from there I bought something else but not sure what it was at the moment.

Randy
BAGWIZ
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San Francisco Bay Area
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I grew up in Fullerton and went to Bentley's Trading Post back in the 70's. It is where I first met Aldini and I later became one of Al's students. I've often wondered whatever happened to Mr. Bentley. At the time, I was about 14 or 15 and he seemed ancient to me; the guy could have been 35 for all I knew! Anyway, after I went to UCLA I became a big fan of Joe Berg's place in Hollywood. As for Hollywood Magic, as a kid I never felt well treated there so I grew up hating that shop. The people who worked there just seemed to act like a bunch of elitists and it always felt like I didn't belong unless I knew every move out of Erdnase.
fastbagger
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I know this is an old topic but I googled Bently's and found these comments about the old magic/pawn shop. My dad stopped in one day to pick up some pocket tricks for me during my stay at choc. hospital when I was 9 or 10. There after in became my favorite shop. The old guy would train me well on whatever trick I bought from him and he had quality stuff. Chinese pagoda box, Passe-Passe 7up bottles, Floating Zombie Ball, were just a few of the parlor tricks I bought from him and he had great close-up as well, I still have the color changing knives (the real ones), the Kennedy half in the bottle and a couple others. Unfortunately I sold my parlor tricks for a motorcycle when I was 14.(stupid) Before Bently died He opened a shop in Anaheim called Best Magic but sold it soon after and the stuff they have there now is very cheaply made. Anyway it sure was good to see that others had some fond memories of Bently's.
BTW' Hello to all. I'm a knew member on the forum.

Click here to view attached image.
DavidBurkhart
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Hello All,
My name is David Burkhart, I was a regular at Bently's back in 1974-1980 when Glenn was working there and Mr. B was still alive. I took Magic Lessons from Doug Kennedy aka Ken Douglas. Later worked with Ross Rice and Steve Shriner at Main St. Magic & Castle Magic at Disneyland. A boyhood friend of mine, John Cathcart had invited me to come and take a lesson with him at the original location on 4th Street, in downtown Santa Ana, California. Later, my grandmother took me to the Magic Castle in Hollywood a few minutes away from her home. It is good to see Mr. B's legacy lives on!
Waky66e
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Wow!
Was just thinking of old downtown Santa Ana, and remembering Bently's. Did a search, and this was about all that came up. Was downtown recently. and just stopped right in front of the old place, and told my wife, "Wait! This is it!" with a big smile.

I attended Bentley's School of Magic for I think 2 seasons back in the mid 70's when I was really young. 9-11 years old, maybe? Still remember the back room & front counters with the back walls stacked with all sorts of neat stuff very vividly, that was a lot of fun! Looks huge to a kid. Learned sleight of hand, illusions, how to pick locks. Close up, stage tricks. Amazing flash paper & dragons breath. Great stuff for a 10 year old!

Still have a big box of stuff in the attic from there, and it's fun to play with!
Thanks for remembering, gave me a smile today. I'll still never tell :|
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