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A FALL ISSUE November - The Magic Castle - tviNews Events
TVInews - Irene Larsen, the Co-Founder of the Magic Castle, in the Heart of Hollywood. The magical paradise for scientists, physicists, illusionists and magicians. Criss Angel Mindfreak TV Series. Meet Milt Larson
• 02. Irene Larsen
03. About Milt
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Photo Image665 - The Criss Angel "MindFreak" Television Show ceremonies at Hollywood's historic Magic Castle, naming Criss Angel as The Academy of Magical Arts' 2005 Magician of the Year. Those honoring Criss Angel included: Gay Blackstone, Milt Larsen, Criss Angel, Irene Larsen, Dale R. Hindman, Troy Cory-Stubblefield, Josie Cory, Costa Sarantakos, Demitra Sarantakos, Joann Sarantakos and George Strumpolis - Photos snaps by Krista Woodley




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1. Feature Story /45th Week 2005 Irene Larson also known as "Princess Irene"
Co-founder of the Magic Castle, Honorary President for Life and Ambassador-At-Large for the Academy of Magical Arts and member of the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. Board of Trustees, is affectionately known throughout the world as "Princess Irene," a stage name she was given by her first husband, magician John Daniel. Fate would have it, Irene Larsen was born September 25, 1936, in Steuhlingen, Germany (on the German-Swiss border) in the same month and year her father-in-law, William W. Larsen, Sr., founded "Genii Magazine," the international conjurers' magazine. She attended school in Oberndor, Austria. In later years Irene, and her second, late husband, William W. (Bill) Larsen, Jr., brother of Milt Larsen, become co-editors of the magazine, which served then, and still does to this day, as a vehicle to promote the Magic Castle to magicians around the world. The historic Magic Castle opened its doors to the public on January 2, 1963, and only months later Irene married Bill Larsen on November 10, 1963. Irene is the mother of three children, including Dante, Heidi and Erika and proud grandmother of Libby, Lily, Liam and Jessica Larsen.
As a teenager she would travel to Rosenheim, Germany for the Bavarian celebration, Wiesenfest (a local Oktoberfest), where another young magician named Siegfried Fischbacher, attended the event as well. Even though Irene and Siegfried lived in towns next to each other during their childhoods, in Germany, it wasn't until years later the Irene, along with her husband Bill, met the legendary magic team Siegfried & Roy.
Irene is also an animal right's activist and advocate for women magicians. Bothered by the original sketches on the Magic Castle's dining room place mats, she had them redrawn. Before the revision, a magician pulled a rabbit out of the hat by its ears. Now the magician correctly holds the rabbit by the extra skin on the back of its neck. Larsen advises female magicians who want to have careers like their male counterparts:
"Originality breeds fame. When you imitate, you get lost in the crowd.
Irene's career in magic started by chance when, in 1965, she attended a magic show in Germany and was asked on stage by magician John Daniel. One year later she arrived in America, married Daniel and became involved with Owen Magic, a manufacturer of magic products. She and Daniel became the first people to perform the Thin Model Sawing in America. She toured the school circuit with Daniel and after that, with Daniel and Bob Towner, played many RKO houses form California to New York City, their spook show featuring Irene in the Burning Alive Illusion and Substitution Trunk, as well as many other illusions.
When John Daniel purchased Owen Magic in 1960, Irene demonstrated many magical products, including, Zombie Balls, Block Penetrations and Die Boxes.
Around this time she caught the eye of actor, writer, director and magician, Orson Welles, who asked her to perform with him on "The Dean Martin Show."
In 1942, William W. Larsen, Sr. traded homes with magic craftsman Floyd Thayer, which now belongs to Irene. The three-story Spanish-style home, built in 1937, was once the stomping ground to some of magic's best-known performers on Saturday mornings as they visited Thayer's Studio of Magic. The home's name, Brookledge, was derived from Bill Larsen's "Genii Speaks" column in "Genii Magazine." The homes' name also refers to the Rio de Oro brook running through the backyard. In it's heyday, and even today, Brookledge is a haven for world-renowned magicians and celebrities alike. In the early days, people like Dante and Blackstone dined there, and Orson Welles used the home's theatre with a red-curtained stage, to rehearse his tent shows with Marlene Dietrich, Joseph Cotton and Rita Hayworth, before they left to entertain World War II troops.
During his lifetime, Bill Larsen an his wife, Irene, traveled throughout the world spreading the word about the Magic Castle. Today, Irene Larsen travels around the world as an Ambassador-At-Large for the AMA, and the mansion where she lives, Brookledge, has the requisite magical bunny sitting on its roof, which Floyd Thayer installed years ago. Brookledge is now a historical landmark, and represents all things magic, from the time of Floyd Thayer's Studio of Magic, to that special day when the property became the homestead of the Magical Larsen Family. 

Part 02 Milt Larsen, Collector of Memorabilia
Milt Larsen is a great collector of memorabilia, and all things magic. The Magic Castle is the permanent home of the headboard from Cher's movie, "The Witches of Eastwick;" the bar from the movie, "Hello Dolly!," starring Barbra Streisand; the costumes of Edgar Bergen's puppet Charlie McCarthy; the bar from "The Dean Martin Show;" the "Cowgirl" marionette, popularized in the movie, "Toy Story;" W.C. Field's pool table used in many of his movies and personal belongs from Harry Houdini, (housed in the Houdini Seance Room), to name a few. The Magic Castle is literally a museum of magic, as well as a seven-day-a-week restaurant and private nightclub with live entertainments.
Milt Larsen, co-founder of the Magic Castle and Member of the AMA fulfilled a life-long dream of his father's when he, along with is later brother William W. Larsen, Jr., and William's wife, Irene, opened a club for Magicians on January 2, 1963. For the past few years, he was the creative force behind the multi-million dollar "Caesars Magical Empire" at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Larsen has produced and written numerous stage shows and musicals (collaborating several times with the renowned Sherman Brothers). His most recent television credits include, serving as Co-Executive Producer/Writer of the "Magicians' Favorite Magicians" Special for CBS Television and serving as a consultant for "Now You See It-The History of Magic," for the Learning Channel.
Larsen is the producer of the ever-popular magic show, "It's Magic!" which he describes as the old days of Vaudeville, where a wide variety of acts are presented all in one show. He also stared opposite Angela Lansbury in the original feature film of "Bedknobs & Broomsticks.
Magic Castle History
The Magic Castle is the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA), Inc., a very special organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic. The purpose of The Academy is to encourage and promote public interest in the art of magic with particular emphasis on preserving its history as an art form, entertainment medium, and hobby. Beginning with a charter membership of 150, the Academy has grown into a world-renowned fraternal organization with a membership of nearly 5,000.
The Birth of The Magic Castle
The Magic Castle began its life as a private home built in 1908 by banker and real estate magnate Rollin B. Lane. Mr. Lane owned much of what is now Hollywood, dreaming of turning his land into orange groves, farms and ranches.
But a severe drought brought an end to his dreams and orange blossoms never filled the valley.
After the Lane family moved away in the 1940s, the mansion was divided into a multi-family home, then became a home for the elderly, and was finally transformed into a maze of small apartments. By 1960, the fate of the Mansion was uncertain. Then Milt Larsen met the owner, Thomas O. Glover.
Milt was a writer on the NBC TV show "Truth or Consequences." His office was on the ninth floor of a Hollywood office building that 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 club for magicians.
The Lane mansion would become that club. In September of 1961, Milt and a crew of eternally generous friends and volunteers began the extraordinary task of returning this run-down apartment building to its glorious past. After months of scraping and sanding, the rich Victorian elegance began to resurface.
The Magic Castle opened its doors at 5 p.m. on January 2, 1963. Today more than four decades later, the Castle has become the world-famous "home" to the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. and their invited guests.

3. Editor's Note The Junior Program at the Magic Castle
The Junior Program at the Magic Castle, now celebrating it's 31st Anniversary, continues to serve as a training program nurturing the talents of young magicians between the ages of 13-21. In 2003, a graduate of the Junior Program, Jason Latimer, won the title of the World's Best Magician. Latimer started studying the craft of magic at age 13 at the Castle. Today, there are many young people, who just like Jason, are studying magic, in the Junior Program, led by Robert Dorian and Diana Zimmerman.
Another great Castle success story is Darren Romeo, a singing magician in his 20s, who was discovered at The Magic Castle by Irene Larsen. Presently Darren Romeo is touring around the world with his show. He is the one and only protege in the world, of the legendary Magicians of the Century, Siegfried & Roy. In March 2005, Romeo received the Magician of the Year Award for 2004 at the Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre in Hollywood.
Criss Angel was named Magician of the Year 2005, and will have officially the award bestowed upon him on April 1, 2006 at the 38th Annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show & Banquet, to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. The distinction of being named Magician of the Year by the AMA is to a magician, what winning an Academy Award is to an actor.
Mecca of Magic
The Magic Castle is regarded as the world's "Mecca of Magic." All the greatest magicians in the world, bot past and present, have been, or are currently affiliated with the Magic Castle, from Siegfried & Roy, to Lance Burton, to Penn & Teller, to the late Dough Henning, among countless others. Since the Magic Castle is a private clubhouse for members and their guests, the founders of the Castle continue to bring magic to the community outside of the Castle's four walls to the world at large, not only through AMA's Annual Award's Show & Banquet, but through the annual presentation of magic shows. The show, "It's Magic!," has been delighting magic enthusiasts for over four decades, since its inception in 1956. This dazzling and enchanting live stage show is unique in that it features top professional magicians from all over the world, with each act carefully selected to represent the variety of the art of magic. On one stage, audience members can revel at seeing internationally recognized and award-winning magicians, direct from the main show rooms of Las Vegas and Hollywood's the Magic Castle, performing sleight of hand, big stage illusions and comedy.
Television viewers and magic enthusiast may recall seeing Johnny Carson perform his "Karnac the Magnificent" routine on "The Tonight Show," Johnny Carson is a Castle member. The inspiration for his television routine, was an arcade fortune-teller named Madame Karnac, who currently is housed in the Magic Castle. Madame Karnac is a gift from Mr. Carson himself.

4. Bylines

The Hat and Hare Pub, helps keep the magic energy going

The Hat and Hare Pub, located in the subterranean heart of the Magic Castle, a private clubhouse, offers an intimate atmosphere to relax and enjoy a libation before dinner or between shows. The newly refurbished bar features rare single malt Scotch whiskies, limited run single barrel bourbons, rare ports, cognacs and liqueurs, as well as four exclusive imported draft beers.
The master bartender/greeter on duty has been known, when so requested, to occasionally perform a few miracles of sleight of hand. The adjacent Pub Lounge features continuous screenings of vintage magic performances from The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. archives, shown on a wide screen High Definition monitor.
Just down the dimly lit hallway one encounters the Pub Museum performance area, an intimate gallery suited to performances for small audiences. Here you may see unpaid, unscheduled performances by both talented amateur magician members as well as working pros, honing their craft. Long a popular retreat for magician members, the "Pub" is the place to rub elbows with both local and visiting international magic notables.
Note: The Hat and Hare Pub is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until closing. Dress Code requires coats and ties for men and dresses or pants suits for women. The Magic Castle‚ is located at 7001 Franklin Avenue, just off of Highland Avenue in Hollywood. For further information about the Magic Castle, please visit the website, http://www.magiccastle.com

Magic Castle, the Heart of Hollywood
The Magical Paradise for Scientists and VoIP Magicians
MORE ABOUT Awards and Payola.

Other Photo 5 - Costa Sarantakos, Demitra Sarantakos, Criss Angel, Joann Sarantakos and George Strumpolis at Hollywood's historic Magic Castle's ceremony naming Criss Angel as The Academy of Magical Arts' 2005 Magician of the Year -

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Irene Larsen, the Co-Founder of the Magic Castle, in the Heart of Hollywood. The magical paradise for scientists, physicists, illusionists and magicians. Criss Angel Mindfreak TV Series. Meet Milt Larson / Television International Magazine's Person Of The Week POWeek 452005 - / NEWS Convergence - 45th Week of 2005 / Feature Story • people/irenelarsen.htm Smart90, s90tv, lookradio, wifi90, tvimagazine, dv90, vratv, xingtv, Kudoads, Kudocasting, Ddiaries, nbs100, Look Radio, Troy Cory-Stubblefield, Josie Cory - Television With No Borders

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