Vintage Matchbooks From Classic L.A. Places: The Magic Castle


A peek into my crazy huge collection of L.A. matchbooks: The Magic Castle

I was at a very out of the way downtown restaurant this weekend when a flurry of flashbulbs caused me to look over my shoulder and see Neil Patrick Harris posing with fans. That inspired today’s matchbook, the Magic Castle. Harris is president of the private magician’s club, which just celebrated 50 years of secretive prestidigitation in their hilltop lair.  This oversized early match cover has all the pomp and swag of the Victorian mansion the Larsen family transformed into Playboy After Dark for magic lovers in 1963. There are two ways to gain admission: befriend a member, or spend a night at the Magic Castle Hotel. Oh, and they’re very serious about the dress code. Don’t try to sneak in in sneakers. If you want to know more about the history of the castle, founder Milt Larsen’s new book My Magical Journey is a densely packed scrapbook of the entertainer’s extraordinarily colorful life. Larsen’s had his hand in comedy, magic, music, and L.A. culture since he was a kid during the depression. A living legend. If you’re lucky, he’ll be sitting at the bar when you arrive.