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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Tannen's Magic Shop in New York memories (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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stephenbanning
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I remember being awestruck when I was at Tannen's Magic Shop in New York. I had practically memorized their catalogue. I remember meeting Frank Garcia there who was quite non-plused to meet me, an eleven-year old. He was less than friendly.
kbfnyf
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I had a similar experience at Tannen's however it was Harry Lorayne I met. In contrast Harry was extremely friendly and made a huge impression. I have loved magic ever since...

I am pleased that Tannen's has relocated to a larger spot & I look forward to a visit as soon as I get a chance...
EKG
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I was just there the other week. They were busy setting up their shop yet they were very friendly and catered to all my requests. It's a bit hard to find, you need to know the exact address to get there.
Wizardwannabe
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Quote:
On 2004-07-20 16:54, stephenbanning wrote:
I remember being awestruck when I was at Tannen's Magic Shop in New York. I had practically memorized their catalogue. I remember meeting Frank Garcia there who was quite non-plused to meet me, an eleven-year old. He was less than friendly.

Aren't those Tannen catalogs from twenty or so years ago just the best? They were essentially books (I mean they looked and felt like a book) with great covers of Blackstone, Copperfield, Henning, S&R, etc. But of course the best part was the contents. The close-up section, card section, coin section and the book catalog in the back. The absolute best magic catalogs!
gulamerian
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Tannens. 120 West 42nd Street. I remember my father taking me there as a kid just starting out in magic. They took the time to spend with you no matter how busy it was.
Wizardwannabe
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The other day I was in the public library in my town and for the heck of it I got the Manhattan Yellow Pages and looked up magic shops. Incredibly, Tannens is not listed. Does anyone know why? I also could not believe it when I saw Milbourne Christopher's name listed under "Magicians"! This is the current Manhattan phone book I'm talking about.
jondark445
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Hi:

Don't know if you got an answer to this, but Tannens is now at 45 West 34th Street. It's actually right by the old digs of Flossor Hornman.

Sadly though, my experiences recently with them were not so good. Just before they moved I got an out and out bait and switch pulled on me. Went in, asked for flash cotton, the salesman told me he'd check and showed me where the sale items were that they were looking to sell before they moved. Told me to browse while he checked. I browsed, came out with nothing, asked if he'd checked, he said he didn't think he had flash cotton, but, again, said he'd check. Then, seeing nothing in my hands for purchase--and not bothering to check for the cotton--said they didn't have what I wanted.

There are other, better dealers out there. Dealers which give the experiences that we had when we were younger. I remember going into Tannens and LOVING it. I want that experience, I now turn to Denny & Lee.

--Jon
Watchmaker
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Tannen's seems to have changed over the years. I would never miss stopping by any time I was in the city.

20 years ago they made strangers feel like friends. Mr Garcia was always nice to us, although Mr. Banning may have caught him on a bad day. In fact, Mr. Garcia signed my sponsership to the I.B.M. and he didn't just pencil-whip it either, he spent some time talking with me about magic.

It makes me feel bad to say things there seem to have changed.

It's probably just nostalgia but one of the nicest memories is of "the elevator door opening". If you've been there you know what I mean!
four elements
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Tannens was a magical place when I first went there years ago. But it seems to have gone down hill since they moved from the location with the elevator doors.
jlevey
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Tony, Jack, Lou, and Irv were always friendly and encouraging to me whenever I visited their shop as a youth (which was frequently), back in the early to mid 70's.

Soon after its initial launch onto the market, I remember Tony performing his ingenious Astrosphere routine right there for me in the shop. I was about 15 years old at the time and buying it was, for me, a costly purchase... but buy I did… and I didn't regret it.

Years later, I popped into the store and asked Tony for his advise on a small comedy illusion that would pack small and play big. One that would fit my particular style of silent-comedy. Without hesitation, Tony recommended the buzz saw thru-neck –for my particular show.

This effect has been a featured hit of my show, ever since, over many years.

Just prior to Tony's retirement, what seems like a few years ago (?), I would call him a few times a year to asks his opinion on the business side of magic, as well as his advise on purchasing certain effects.

He was always attentive and helpful, going out of his way to source and mail out difficult to find props, advising on why one prop was better than another for a certain effect, and much more.

I certainly feel sad that none of the "old" gang (as far as I know) are with the store any more.

Any idea on what Tony is doing these days? Perhaps he still works in the capacity of consultant to the magic/tv community.

With fond memories...

Jonathan

PS: If you’re reading this Tony…many thanks for all you’ve done to inspire and support youths growing into magic, well into their adult years.
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
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TrickyRicky
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I remembered the day I was in Tannen's when Muhammed Ali walked in with some 12 body guards.
He created so much excitement--as you all know how he could talk.
Richard Lyn
nucinud
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I have been in every Tannens location. (they moved around).

Met Paul Harris, David Roth, Doug Edwards, Ken Kranzel, just to name a few.

Also used to go the Flosso Hornmans. Ah the good old days.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

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jsilk7
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I have not been to the new Tannens will have to make the trip
jwebyra
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I visited Tannen's a couple of times when they were on 32nd and a number of times when they were on 25th. I remember stopping by at the Dunkin Donuts on 31st and 5th for a jelly donut. I been to the new location a couple of times and the last time I was there they ignored me. If I am in New York I will stop by Fantasma. My primary shop is Martinka (Flosso Hornmann)in Midland Park, N.J. Ted is a great guy to talk too.

Ron
leapinglizards
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Kind of makes me sad.... Irving Tannen and Tony Spina sponsored me into SAM- I went there for the first time, when they were on Broadway, right after having seen Harry Blackstone on broadway- I was probably about 12.

I recall a nice guy who was super helpful to me as a kid... didn't relaize until I got home are read a magazine that that guy was.... Harry Lorraine.

Aside from Espizito's magic shop on Long Island, Tannen's was the only place I ever had good In Person experiences. The mood in many shops is often a bit put off-ish, until they know you a bit.
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
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MagiClyde
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If Tannen's is under new management or ownership, they may not have the desire to see anyone as nothing more than a walking money machine. Usually, they don't have the same love or sentiment for the magical arts that caused the store to be such a success in the first place. More's the pity. Smile
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Rocketeer
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I go way back with Tannen's. The first time I went there was when one of my older brothers took me there in the mid sixties. I was about 12 or so. This was when it was on West 42nd. I thought it was soooo cool that you entered an office building and took the elevator up a few floors. There was no hint to the wonders that awaited you behind the office door that could have lead to an ordinary company. You opened that door and you were in a real live magic shop!!!

By the ninth grade my two magic-addled friends and I would take our Christmas and Hannakuh money and make a pilgrimage on the #1 train to Times Square to blow it all. Tony Spina treated us kids with the same respect and attention he treated the grownups and loved to demonstrate for us. I think we all bought Glorpys. I also remember buying a book entitled Fire Magic and actually making torches of straightened coat hangers, cotton and unleaded gasoline! In those days only Amoco sold unleaded so that's where we got it. Needless to day, don't try this at home kids. It was a different era.

I didn't think the location on Broadway was quite as "magical" for some reason. I don't know why. The last time I was at Tannens was probably 1992 or so. I don't recall if that was the location in the 20s or 30s. It definitely had lost something. The only highlight was meeting Harry Lorayne and having him autograph Close-up Card Magic for me. He joked that he had signed so many of them that the ones without his autograph were actually worth more.

I never did make it to Flosso-Hornmann or Martinka's. I wish I had.
I'm selling my hardcover autographed limited edition copy of Jerome Finley's "Thought Veil"

PM me for info.
Billy Harper
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My grandfather was a retired New York City policeman and took me to Tannen's for the first time in 1956. I was a kid of eleven from Charlotte, North Carolina and had never been inside a magic store. Although now I perform close-up and sleight-of-hand, I will always feel an electric thrill whenever I walk into a magic shop and see all those wonderful, shiny, brightly painted apparatus tricks - Hippity-Hop Rabbits, Arm Choppers, Cups and Balls, beautiful silks, Chinese characters written on bizarre items, linking rings - you name it. Tannen's had those fantastic framed photos of famous magicians tastefully hanging on the the walls. That day, Lou Tannen himself used my arm for a demonstration of an arm chopper he was pitching. Another year, 1959, he demonstrated a vanishing key and a flawless Chop Cup routine in which he produced two tennis balls for the final load. Over the years, whenever I used Tannen's mail order service, I would always get that same electric thrill whenever a package arrived with that great Tannen's logo on it. Even the mailing wrapper seemed exotic and magical. I didn't throw it away - I folded and saved it. I don't go to New York very often, but when I do, I never miss Tannen's.
Billy Harper
Jonathan Kelly
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I went to Tannens this summer while on Holiday in NYC. It was my first time to a magic shop. I'm afraid I was less than impressed. The shop itself didn't look very magical and I was ignored for about 15 minutes before someone came to help me. Plus the store is very hard to find if you don't know where to look.
"But where did the lighter fluid come from?"
Billy Harper
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Does anyone have or know where I can purchase a Tannen's catalog from the 1950's?
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