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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Douglas Magicland - Dallas (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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Queen of Hearts was not part of Magicland. It was "Tony" Cassini's shop. He moved from Florida under a cloud of, well, failure to deliver merchandise. He's gone now, as well.
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Nongard1
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I bought every one of my first tricks from them in the early 70's and did my first professional show in 1976 -- and EVERY item in the show came from them.... even the dove pan! Got paid $20 for theat first show and probaly spent it on more magic....
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cdgabby
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Howard Hale (my ex-husband) and I bought Douglas Magicland from Mr. Jeffries in December of 1982. We moved the store to Marsh and Forest Lane after a few years. After our divorce Howard kept the business and moved it across the street. He then sold Magicland to Mark around 2003. The store closed a few years after. Derek Kennedy at Magic Etc in Ft. Worth bought most of the antique fixtures and inventory that was left.

Magicland was a great business and it is sad that it is gone. I enjoyed owning it and working there for 10 years. It was a blessing in my life. It has a lot of rich history and many interesting stories.

All the best, Cheryl Hale Gilmore - now in Southern California and out of the magic business. I can be reached at cheryl.gilmore@hotmail.com if you have any further questions.
Larry Kellogg
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Douglas Magicland advertised their catalog for 10 cents in Popular Mechanics or Popular Science in the 1950s. That’s how I found out about the shop. I lived in a very small town in Kansas and regularly mailed money orders to the shop for magic equipment. One day the postmaster asked me why I sending all that money to Douglas Magicland. I told him I was going to be a magician. He asked if I’d like to do my show for the Kiwanis Club. That first gig got my name on the front page of the newspaper. One of the lines in the article said, “He almost appeared to be a professional.”
doulos
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I moved back to Texas in the early 70's. My first trip to Magicland was about in '74. This shop fit the typical setting from the generations it came from with the architecture of a bygone era. Almost every square inch of that shop was filled with trick, prop, joke, gag, costume, mask or wig. Strange thing was that as filled at the shop was, it didn't feel cluttered. I remember many a time Mr. Jeffries pulling something off the shelf to demo. He was a nice man, but had a peculiar method of presentation. I went as often as I could, but it was never enough for me. It just wasn't the same after the move from downtown. I can't belive they took down the building it was in. I was equally as sad to see the new place close. I could have stayed in that old shop for hours.

Over the last few years I have made it regularly over to the West side of Ft Worth to once again lean on familar counters. If you are in town, belive me, it is well worth the trip to drop in and visit. Even tho' it is not the same shop, it is nice to see someone that has the commitment to keeping real magic alive. - Thanks Derek!

-Shoop
wkitwizard
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Ok, I have to add my "two cents". I was ten years old, living in Memphis during 1955. There was this new signer, everybody was talking about who would perform at the state fairs-Elvis. I was born in Dallas, and spent many summers there-including my first visit to Douglas Magicland in '55. Still have every catalog they published from 1925 until 1973. Although the shop was crammed, it was a fantastic experience for a young boy who longed to perform magic. Many memories-all good.
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
magicnewswire
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I'm reading this as I interview Mark Wilson and he reminisces about MagicLand.
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Ray Pierce
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Wow, did I have my Magicland stories!

I grew up in Ft. Worth so a trip 30 miles away to Dallas was a BIG deal for a kid in the 60's. We had "The Joke Shop" on Main St. in Downtown Ft. Worth (where I eventually worked on weekends) that had a magic section but Magicland was the holy grail! I remember Mr. Jeffries always being a great host with the most unassuming presentations anywhere! lol... "Low key" wouldn't begin to describe him. I would save up and my parents would take me over there 3 or 4 times a year to get my new toy.

I remember being 12 and finally saving enough for a set of multiplying candles. Now, I had spent 2 years working on the billiard balls so I figured the candles had to be VERY hard but I felt I was ready to tackle it. I marched in and proudly ordered my set (right hand). The place was always packed on Saturdays with merchandise and items flying out the door. Someone brought out some really complicated looking gimmick and I (with my 4 years of magical experience) said, what is this? Some kind of cigarette tank or pull system? lol... the guy looks right at me and said, Those are your candles, Kid! lol... I vowed never to open my mouth in a magic shop again... but of course that didn't last long!

It was such a joy to go and feel the history of the place as Mark Wilson was my new idol in magic and to know he worked there made it a destination of dreams for a kid my age.

I was sorry to hear it closed as it formed my early years in the craft.
Ray Pierce
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Christopher Lyle
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I moved out to Dallas in October of 1998 and visited Magicland for the first time. It was a great place. Mark Roberts was the owner and it was a Magician's Hang Out. As previous posters have mentioned, it has since closed and last I heard, Mark is has been selling cars ever since. Haven't heard about him at all...kinda dropped out of the magic scene since closing up shop. Sad really...I always liked Magicland and had no idea of its history.

THE PLACE to go in DFW now is Magic Etc. which is owned by Derek Kennedy. Other shops around town are The Illusion Warehouse which was owned by Bruce Chadwick until recently (he just turned the whole place over to his son Bronson). Then you have Queen of Hearts in Plano and Main Street Magic over in McKinney. I have been out here now 11 years and have NEVER been to Queen of Hearts. I have heard the people who own it now are not magicians, are not friendly, and are not very helpful to those who come in the shop to purchase.

I have never been to Main St. either but understand their a pretty good shop...

Christopher
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Christopher Lyle
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JNeal
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I never visited Douglas Magicland, but I guess I got one of their catalogs around 1963, I remember because the Beatles' first major album came out. Now the most important image in the catalog was on the back cover...the envelope with the wings that advertised 2hr service! As a kid, I could just picture my money order arriving there and people scurrying about to make the 2 hour time... and off to the post office and back to me!

I wore out that catalog trying to figure out each trick and deciding what to spend my $5.00 on. By the time I made a decision( a couple of weeks had passed) and I probably had $7.50..which meant I had to reconfigure what to buy! I never had much money , so I never bought all that much from them...but each purchase is remembered fondly and the images in the catalog were fantastic evocations of magic's golden age...at least to me.

Years (decades) later, while reminiscing about Douglas Magicland with a friend, I was bemoaning my beloved and now lost catalog and how it meant more to me than any of the props I purchased from it. He asked which was my favorite catalog...I said the 1967 edition with the yellow cover and he remembered it. Long story made shorter..a wek or so passed and he surprised me with a gift..HIS copy of that same catalog in pristine condition.

Having been in magic for many years now, I've given away all my books, rarities, and collectibles, well...all but one...that Douglas Magicland catalog!
visit me @ JNealShow.com
ropeadope
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Looks like there was many of us back in the Good `ole Days that have fond memories of magic catalogs that were ordered from back of popla mechanics, boys life, etc. Yes I went down the same path & have fond youthfull memories with Douglas Magicland, El Beebos, Top Hat catalogs. And remember Lawson`s? Guess now it was Vic Lawsons shop. Have recently come about an old Tannen`s catalog. No youthful memories attached to this one, may trade or sell it. Lost all my old catalogs many hurricanes ago,
Nothing is better than more.
Wizard of Oz
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Ahhh. Douglas Magicland. Isn't it a wonderful thing, that when you were a kid, even the magic catalogs were magical? I remember seeing an ad for Douglas's catalog...I saved up, and ordered it. I had only been interested in magic (thanks to TV Magic Cards) for about a year. So when I received the catalog in the mail, it was like scoring an issue of Playboy. Okay, not quite. But really close. Forget the toy section in the Sears catalog. This was the stuff dreams were made of.

I looked at that baby for weeks, drooling over the crude drawings of effects I could only hope to afford someday, and struggling with how to spend the limited pennies I COULD afford to spend. It was a glorious tease...uh, much like looking at Playboy.

Anyway, I digress. I still have the catalog somewhere. It must be from 1972 or so, and it is sacred to me. A cheap little book full of priceless memories.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
gard8847
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Wow – I can’t believe so many people remember Magicland. I grew up in South East Dallas not to far from Fair Park. I remember Magicland from the sixties and seventies when I think it was Al Jeffries Magicland. Like a lot of others here I spent a great deal of my paper boy earnings and allowance on Magic tricks, and gags like the fake half melted ice cream on a stick (which got a fantastic reaction when left on the front seat of my Dad’s brand new 72 Chevy impala, ah it was a simpler time). Those were the days when nothing was scary or dangerous. In the summer we would catch the bus to downtown Dallas and spend the day. Dallas was a wonderland of things to see and do back then, movie theaters, the observation deck at the top of the Southland Life building which was the tallest building in town at the time, Oshmans Sporting Goods, even the library but the absolute best was Jeffries Magicland on Ervay Street. I really liked tricks with gimmicks. My grandparents were a little superstitious so the zombie ball really freaked them out until one day when the gimmick broke and the ball dropped to the floor rolling around revealing it’s secret. But my favorite trick was called the dove box or the knife in the box illusion. I would borrow my neighbors rabbit for the trick. You show the box to the audience even pass it around. You put the rabbit or dove in the box. Slide in the cover behind the grill down in the box, plunge in the sword from side to side then remove the grill and voila the rabbit had disappeared. That was the grand finale to my Mickymouse magic show. Thanks for reminding me of those good old days.
BKDub
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Pretty amazing memories from all ... I was just going through an old catalog file and found a Jeffries' Magicland catalog dated 1976 (50 cents) complete with pre-printed order envelope and price sheets. It's in really good shape and cuz the envelope was in there I guess I didn't order anything from it .... it must have been the last one I ever received ..... I never went there (born and raised in SoCal) but like the rest of you I spent many an allowance with them .... the oldest record of that is a small collection of tricks that I have kept that is still in the box that I received them in .... it's post marked Dec 16 '64 and the label says "from DOUGLAS 409 N. Ervay - Dallas 1, Texas" .... the postage ... 16 cents! Miraculous Penetration Frame, Fall Guy, Elusive Cigaret, Jap Stix (obviously b4 PC), Tube and Ball, Magical Block and Coin, Four Nickels to Dimes .... like the Wizard of Oz said " ... the stuff dreams were made of."
duane_morgan
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Whould this be Lyle Douglas of Dallas, Texas? I have a 40 page booklet that is 8.5"X11" and is titled "The Book of 1000 Wonders" on 1 side followed by 35 page catalog, and the other cover is titled "50 Mysteries of Magic You Can Do" followed by 3 pages of instructions. It has a 1937 copyright.
digitizer2004
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I am new to this forum and just happen to come across the "Douglas Magicland" forum and being an on-again-off-again magician for a number of years, I just so happen to come across my old ORIGINAL Douglas Magicland catalog and it is STILL in pretty good condition too! I remember (and not wanting to admit this) as a young lad ordering from them in the '60's, and paying by cash and change too that I had and actually getting my prized and hard earned magic (boy, have times changed!!). The copyright says 1959, though I know I did not start ordering until about 1965 or so, and the inside cover says that his catalog is number 32 ( I am not sure if this is the 32nd catalog printed or if they had printed 32 different volumes. OH WELL, talk to you guys later, I know I have other catalogs and magic books in my vault that I will report on!!


[/quote]
Doctorfrey
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Magicland was legendary. I was born in 1953 and my dad knew Lyle Douglas, one of the Douglas brothers. I was lucky enough to work at Magicland downtown in Dallas one summer when I was 14 or 15 years old (1968 probably). Mr. Jeffries had definitely bought the store and he was my boss. I was a junior magician and demonstrated the tricks for retail customers... What a cool job ! I also washed the storefront windows every day and cleaned the premises... The prior writers are correct. There was a back stockroom for employees only where additional inventory was stored... I spent all my earnings on tricks. Remember Grant's Die Box, Bro. John Hamman's Final Ace Routine, the Milk Pitcher and others... Wow ! What a great experience... Jeffries was a good magician but kinda dry. I think I made $1.75 an hour and he only gave me 20 minutes for lunch break. It never seemed like real work to me... I can answer questions if someone replies... Thanks, Jerry Frey
Chessmann
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Just scored a 1974 Magicland Catalog ("500 Tricks"!) on Ebay. Nice, green cover Smile

Can't wait to get it and relive memories...
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Chessmann
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Got it, today. Wow....

The prices! Smile

- Vanishing Milk Pitcher for $4.50 (by mail, $4.75!)

- Key-R-Rect for $13

- Braham Copper Rice Bowls (large) for $19.95

- Egg Vase for $1,75

- Phantom Cards for .35 cents ("Much better trick than the low price might indicate." True!)

- Linking Ropes for $2.50

- Steel Ball through Brass Bolt for $4.00

The "Select Magical Secrets" section, where you could buy a written description of effects for .35 cents (3 for a dollar!)

Fun book section.

Ah, the drawings, the tricks I had completely forgotten about (!), the ad copy, all brought back so many memories!

BTW, the first post in this topic mentions that where Magicland was, is now a freeway system. This is not correct - the former location of Magicland is now a parking garage, but the old neon sign is still there as an historical marker.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
billmarq
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Wow. I have just returned to a serious interest in Magic, and I happened upon this forum and topic. I also began my Magic "career" as a kid in the 60's with stuff I bought from Douglas Magicland. I still own the set of 5-inch linking rings, the linking ropes and a few other small items. My brother sneaked a peek into my magic case once to try to figure out how the linking rings worked. He sneered at me later, telling me that I had broken one of them. I never did reveal the secret to him.

One of my favorite purchases was the Ireland's Multiplying Golf Balls. They were ruined by being stored in a hot attic while I was off in college and the military. I understand that they are now sought after by collectors. I would not sell them if I still had them, though.
Honi soit quit mal y pense.
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