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Milt Larsen Plans a New Magic Castle


New Magic CastleThey say that magicians should never repeat a trick but it looks like Milt Larsen is going to attempt to do that very thing. Sometime in the near future Milt plans to transform the Montecito Events Center into an offshoot of Hollywood’s famed nightclub The Magic Castle. Milt Larsen founded The Magic Castle with his brother Bill back in 1963 and he has recently purchased the Montecito Events Center with his wife, Arlene Larsen for $2.35 million. The 3,982-square-foot building has housed Café del Sol for nearly 50 years and will keep hosting parties for the immediate future. The site overlooks the Andree Clark Bird Refuge and occupies 11,761 square feet.

Here is a video news report from KEYT, Channel 3 in Santa Barbara.

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Milt and his now-deceased brother Bill Larsen founded The Magic Castle after growing up performing magic with their parents in the 1930s. The exclusive, members-only nightclub draws magicians and magic aficionados for shows, fine dining and cocktails inside its Victorian mansion walls.

Milt LarsenThe Magic Castle is the clubhouse of The Academy of Magical Arts, also known as the AMA. Magic Castles, Inc. (MCI), is a company owned primarily by Milt Larsen and a recent agreement between the AMA and MCI gave the AMA exclusive territorial protection within a 50-mile radius of the Magic Castle. This keeps another business from opening within that radius and using the name Magic Castle. The new Santa Barbara location is 86 miles away from the original Hollywood location.

That location in Hollywood was a beautiful private home built in 1908 by banker and real estate magnate Rollin B. Lane. Milt was a writer on the NBC-TV show Truth or Consequences and his office overlooked the Lane mansion. Milt’s late father, William W. Larsen Sr., was a renowned magician and had long dreamed of building an elegant private clubhouse for magicians.

The MAGIC CASTLEThe Lane mansion became that club. In September 1961, Milt, his brother Bill who was also an accomplished magician and publisher of Genii Magazine became the AMA’s first President.

The Magic Castle opened its doors at 5 p.m. on January 2, 1963. Today, more than five decades later, the Castle remains the mecca of magic as the world-famous home to the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. and invited guests.

  1. At least guests won’t have to contend with Hollywood Bowl traffic.

  2. Shelby Craigen says:

    I hope it does not become a copy of the present Magic Castle, I liked the original.

  3. Let’s be sure to support Milt in this!

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