The Magic Castle
A kitschy hilltop mansion just a couple of blocks from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Magic Castle is an exclusive nightclub and restaurant for magicians (and their fans), open only to members and the guests they invite -- or to guests of the adjacent Magic Castle Hotel. There is a strict dress code here, and visitors to nighttime performances must be 21 years or over.
A Los Angeles Historic and Cultural Monument, the house was originally built as a private home in 1909, but sold to a collective of magicians in the early 1960s and retrofitted to include various secret rooms and features. The main entrance, for instance, has no discernable door; a secret word must be whispered to an ornamental owl in order to be granted passage. Performances here, held five nights a week in three different theaters, are given by the world’s most skilled magicians and passionate fans, including actors Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Martin and Jason Alexander.
Magic Castle memberships are generally available only to magicians who must go through a thorough application process, but a temporary, non-magician, non-resident Open Sesame membership (available to those who live outside of the California Counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino) can be purchased for $250. Valid for only one month, Open Sesame allows the member and one guest to visit the club Sunday-Thursday and during Saturday brunch, requires both reservations and dining in order to attend shows, and incurs additional admission charges for additional guests.
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