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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Oldies... but goodies! » » Early Grant's Temple Screen (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Anverdi-museum
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I recently picked up a very early Grant Temple Screen...the colors are absolutely vibrant. Here is a brief video demonstrating this and a few other cool props: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOQxMk8x1VQ


Chuck Caputo
Dick Oslund
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Interesting...I guess I've sold a few screens when I worked behind the counter, but, I was never impressed by the decoration. (I must admit that I was never impressed by the "method", either.) I had made, as a teenager, a screen production prop from directions in an early "TOPS" magazine, that was much more deceptive.

Gen Grant was "known" for his use of a "half coat of paint!!!
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Anverdi-museum
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I have used the Grant Temple Screen for over forty years, it goes over very well with lay audiences. We would like to hear about and see your invention which is much better.
Dick Oslund
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If your audiences like it, DO IT!

De gustibus non est disputandum! (That's Latin. It translates: Concerning tastes, we cannot argue!)

The production screen that I mentioned was NOT my invention. TOPS magazine published a book(let) about 1945 or '46. IMO, it was more deceptive. I made it from corrugated cardboard, and used it successfully, in my shows, as a young teenager. My audiences liked it.

With experience performing, I realized that cans, pans, tubes, red velvet bags on a stick, and SCREENS, were merely PROPS. After studying TARBELL, et al, I began using digital skills with mostly generic props (rope, silks, cards, balls, balloons, etc.

My prop "box", while in the Navy was a cigar box sized shaving kit. I made enough money doing club dates to make it possible to buy a late model used car, rent a place in town, and eat in restaurants instead of the mess hall. For 3 1/2 years, I never cashed a Navy pay check. I banked that money.

A few years later, I turned to full time professional performing, I was never at liberty for 50 years.
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JoeLyons
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The Temple Screen was one of my first props. When I was 14 I used it at birthday parties. Another local magician, though only a few years older than me, was very advanced and had a stage show with Metamorphosis, Shadowbox, etc. He asked me to show him something and I fooled him with the Temple Screen! He then allowed me to perform(abysmally) in his stage show once.
Just realized this predates P & T FU format by 40 years.
Dick Oslund
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Well Joe, fooling someone is only part of being a magician. Entertaining them is even more important!!!

Magic is NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!
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JoeLyons
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Quote:
On Jul 1, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
Well Joe, fooling someone is only part of being a magician. Entertaining them is even more important!!!


That is true Dick.
Dick Oslund
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Hi Joe!

I didn't mean that comment as a "put down"! I was just making a general comment. I vividly remember a few of my early performances. in the 40s!

Dr. A.M Wilson, editor of the now defunct "SPHINX" magazine, had on the "masthead" of his editorial page: "Magic is an art that sometimes instructs, often amuses, but always entertains."

As a teen, I believed him! I have since learned that he was mistaken!!!

Welcome to the Café!
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JoeLyons
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No offense taken, Dick, I understand and agree.
I have seen a lot of magic executed perfectly that was not entertaining.
Anatole
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Don Lawton had one of the best ideas I ever saw with the Grant Temple Screen. He opened one side and said, "On this side, you see three Buddhas." He closed the screen and reopened it, saying "This is the other side"--and written on the three panels were the words:
THE OTHER SIDE

Fabjance Magic sold a production device called the "Alumascreen." You opened one side to show three slim aluminum panels--two silver and one red. You closed it and re-opened the other side to show three aluminum panels. Then you produced a variety of objects--like silks or even a small bottle.

I've used the Fabjance Alumascreen since it was released in 1964. Earl Edwards got one in at The Magic Shop in Norfolk and I quickly bought it and added it to my show. The Alumascreen was advertised in some of the magic magazines, but I have never seen another one either advertised or used by any other magician than me. I have used it to produce silks and hat coils--even a 50-foot Rice Silk Streamer.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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I used a Grant Temple screen (the orange version) throughput my teens in the early to mid 1960s and it was a great production prop. It had a very large load so I told an adventure story with twists and turns in the narrative that allowed me to produce not only vast numbers f silks but food, snakes, spring flowers and other surprises. When RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK came put I themed a routine following its storyline.My handling was different from Chuck's video so they saw both sides before and during the routine and you can actually fold it "flat" with the load in back hidden from the audience (if they are not off to your side). At the end the Temple collapses into a flattened screen. I hope my routine was entertaining and that the audience was also amazed at how much came out of it. But I do not suggest using collapsable items that are obviously springing open like those discs and birdcage.
bobmag56
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I recall buying the Grant Temple Screen as my 1st large trick for $5.00. It was in the 1950s. I still have it and it is really a great item (looks nice, easy to use, large load chamber, puzzling, and easy to pack.
BCS
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Chuck.... thanks for showing all your videos... I enjoy them.

Bruce
Anverdi-museum
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Thanks!
BAGWIZ
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Ah, the Temple Screen! What fond memories I have of using that in my kid shows (back when I myself was a kid), to produce all the items I’d then use for the rest of my little show. I took lessons from Aldini (Alex Weiner) and I am pretty sure it must have been Al who introduced me to the TS. I eventually swapped out the TS for a Square Circle, but I can still remember Al and the goofy patter he used for the Temple Screen.

I recall Al teaching me to handle the TS a little more casually, especially at the beginning when showing it “on all sides.” The initial display was done off the table and closer to the body, which felt and looked more natural. Al also taught me to move around a bit while doing the display and to not look at the screen at all, but instead look at the audience. He wanted me to devote as little attention to the screen as possible, even when producing items from it, so the screen itself wouldn’t be thought of as anything more than a screen. It’s hard to know now, if it was as effective as I thought, but the kids always seemed to get a surprise out of it. And, since all the props for the rest of my show came from the TS, it sort of became a running bit throughout the show as I’d keep it on a side table and go back to it whenever I needed something. For example, I remember producing a long piece of rope for my rope routine (which was largely George Sands’ “Sansational”). I’d get started with the routine and then remark that I forgot my scissors. By that point the kids would all point to the TS and yell “look in there!” I’d walk over to the TS, reach inside and of course, out would come the scissors. I’d act as surprised as the kids.

Anyway, Al and I routined the TS to fit into my act and it did the job for a few years. I am still a little surprised at how much could be produced from it!

Great memories!
Septimus Hexx
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Hi Chuck. Don't usually look down here, but lockdown here in England has left me with time on my hands. Love temple screen and all the stuff you make in spooky. In the video, there is some fairground music. Is it a CD?
ringmaster
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Grant himself told me it was a cheap prop, he said if you like it, you should make a decent version for yourself. That's not hard with the Temple Screen and some downloaded illustrations.
Less than 2% of reported UFO's turn out to be actual interplanetary vehicles.
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