Living in LA is already magical and on top of that, we just happen to have many of the best magicians and world-class illusionists right here in our very own backyard. From hidden gems in intimate theaters to grand spectacles, there are plenty of options both in LA and a short drive away that will transport you to another realm. There’s also a type of magic for everyone, from the kind that weaves in a more comedic angle, to the straight-up old-fashioned sleight of hand tricks, or magic that taps into seemingly psychic abilities and mysteries from the great beyond. We’ve waved our magic wand and rounded up some of the most buzz worthy magic shows in LA, so you can experience the razzle dazzle firsthand.
Location: 7001 Franklin Avenue Hollywood, CA 90028
Ah, the true Los Angeles rite of passage. This is the most exclusive magic club in all of LA. You’ll need to secure a magician friend who can pull those magic strings and grant you access to the home of the world’s most celebrated magicians and illusionists—The Magic Castle in Hollywood. But before we delve into this enchanting world, let’s explore a bit of history about this iconic LA institution. The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) is a unique non-profit organization. Its members live by the creed of “Magic First,” dedicated to advancing the art of magic and preserving its rich history. The headquarters and private clubhouse of AMA, known as The Magic Castle, have been a globally renowned gathering place for the magic community since opening their doors in 1963. Nestled in historic Hollywood, within an elegant Edwardian-era Château-esque mansion, the Castle itself is an experience. It’s a remarkable meeting spot that captures the essence of a bygone era and timeless in its appeal. It has hosted generations of magic enthusiasts from around the world and a roster of showbiz elite, including Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jason Alexander (all performing members), as well as Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, and Johnny Depp. The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician, and entrepreneur Milt Larsen, along with his late brother, Bill Larsen Jr., and his wife Irene.
Now that we’ve revealed our cards, let’s emphasize that The Magic Castle is an experience you must not miss while living in or visiting Los Angeles. From pulling up to the valet and posing on the step and repeat, to uttering the secret words that open the entrance (no spoilers here), and greeting a certain mysterious piano player, it’s an extraordinary and unforgettable journey. Here are a few things to keep in mind when attending a magic show at the Castle. First, allocate a few hours for your visit. The Castle has several rooms, each featuring different shows. Be sure to catch both the smaller acts and the main headliners. Secondly, the Magic Castle offers excellent food, including a delightful weekend brunch, so plan on eating during your visit (its one of the requirements). Fianlly, savor the unique experience of NO PHOTOS or VIDEOS once you step inside The Magic Castle. Capture all your snapshots outside the Castle or in the lobby, but once you cross the threshold, it’s all about mental pictures in this magical sanctuary.
Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071
David Carlo’s Modern Parlor Magic is an immersive and intimate evening of magic, mentalism and theater inspired by Victorian era parlor shows and a found diary from 1895. The elegant experience is hosted at the iconic Biltmore Los Angeles Hotel in a stunning, stylish turn of the century parlor room. The critically acclaimed live show has been hailed a “Best Bet for the Weekend” and “Where to see Magic in L.A.” by the Los Angeles Times, as well as featured by KTLA, NBC, FOX and NPR. David Carlo astonishes with miraculous illusions, close-up mysteries, powerful mind reading and even his version of the classic, deadly bullet catch. Interactive participation by all audience members is the key ingredient for making each show unique and special. He is accompanied by “Solitary Science” , a celebrated multi-instrumentalist, composer, and electronic musician. This is a great event to dress up at too. So, have fun with it and step into that elegant Victorian inspired dress.
Pro-Tip: These exclusive engagements are limited in seating to ensure an intimate experience. Make sure you keep an eye on the website and IG to see when tickets open this Fall/Winter.
Location: 1719 N Hudson Ave. Hollywood, CA 90028
Step into the enchanting world of Black Rabbit Rose, where a stylish and vintage ambiance awaits. This upscale establishment, curated by the Houston Brothers, is your ticket to an evening filled with mystery and madness. The allure and spectacle unfold on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, offering a unique experience reminiscent of an old-timey emporium. As you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the red velvet upholstery, plush leather booths, and an intimate stage that evokes the charm of a bygone era. Enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and savor a menu featuring delectable Thai delicacies from Crying Tiger’s kitchen. Throughout your visit, be prepared to witness astonishing sleight of hand and mesmerizing magic performances that can surprise you anywhere in the venue, from your table, to the bar, and even in the hall. Black Rabbit Rose beckons you to come for the food and drinks and return for an unforgettable experience that combines style, elegance, and a touch of old-time mystique.
Location: 1418 4th St. Santa Monica, CA 90401
For those on the West Side seeking magic by the sea, step on into Illusion Magic Lounge, a Santa Monica haven for enchantment boasting a 150-seat variety theater. Every weekend unveils a new main stage show with an intimate feel and features award-winning magicians from around the world, including talents from Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Masters of Illusion, America’s Got Talent, and The Magic Castle in Hollywood. Illusion Magic Lounge provides the opportunity to see multiple types of magic in a single evening. From ambient, strolling magicians to mind-bending illusions on a grand 54-foot stage to a formal close-up show in the intimate Court Room space. The main show welcomes guests for a 90-minute spectacle with a 15-minute intermission. Visitors are encouraged to visit the wine bar next door, where they may just run into one of the special magician bartenders.
Location: 46630 Washington St La Quinta, CA 92253
If you’re looking for a fab escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to catch some great magic, Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta might just be your ticket. Picture this. World-class magic, comedy, and variety artists straight from Las Vegas, Broadway, and beyond. We’re talking America’s Got Talent, Penn & Teller’s FOOL US, Masters of Illusion on The CW – you name it, they’ve been here. Marvyn’s is a plush 130-seat venue where you enter through the Magic Shop, a whimsical recreation of an old-timey magic emporium. Then, you’ll step into the Dematerialization Chamber where you might just vanish (temporarily, of course), only to reappear in the lobby. Marvyn’s is for those aged 21 and over, so leave the younger magic lovers at home for this one. The brains behind this enchanting spot, Gary and Marcia Beutler, earned the prestigious Special Achievement Award from The Magic Castle’s Academy of Magical Arts and Sciences. Their inspiration? Marvyn Roy, also known as Mr. Electric, and his partner Carol Roy, who wowed audiences worldwide for over five decades. Their magic lives on within the venue, leaving guests spellbound by the world’s finest magic, comedy, and variety artists.
Location: Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel , 900 South Disneyland DriveAnaheim, CA 92802
Our next two picks provide solid reasons to head to Anaheim beyond Disneyland, but if you could squeeze that in to, of course, by all means. First, David Minkin’s Magic and Wine Show at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel delivers an evening of extraordinary wines and captivating magic. Join David Minkin, the International Champion of Magic, for 75 minutes of enchanting close-up magic—an ideal choice for a memorable date night. In fact, LA Weekly has bestowed upon this show the title of “LA’s Best Magical Date Night.” David is no stranger to magical success – he is the star of the Travel Channel show, Magic Outlaws.
Location: 321 W Katella Ave Suite 141, Anaheim, CA 92802
Next up is Kip Bary’s Cabaret, located at the STC Anaheim Garden Walk just steps from Disneyland. It’s an award-winning Magic and Variety Dinner show that is filled with magic, music, comedy and FUN that lasts over an hour. Suitable for both adults and children as young as two years old, this multifaceted experience offers something for everyone. Adjacent to the Cabaret is the spot to make the hunger pangs magically disappear, Kip Barry’s Magic Café. We love their magic-themed bites like the Houdini Hot Dog and The “Penn and Teller” Fish and Chips. As the night unfolds, you’ll witness a world-class headliner, who will amaze you with incredible magic and a variety of talents. LIVE guest entertainers in the middle of the show will blow you away with their unique abilities. The experience continues with a giant movie screen showcasing incredible 3D designs and moving images, all backed by a state-of-the-art Dolby sound system for intensified viewing pleasure. Kip Barry, the “CONJURING CROONER,” is not only one of the world’s most versatile entertainers but also our founder, owner, and headliner who performs about two weeks per month. He seamlessly weaves all his unique talents into one AMAZING and UNFORGETTABLE SHOW!
Pro-Tip: Kip’s schedule takes him out of town quite frequently, but not to worry ,because they always have outstanding guest performers in his place. If you are booking SPECIFICALLY to see Kip, please text or email in advance to make sure he will be performing.
If you want to keep the spooky vibes going this season, check out our article on LA’s 5 Best Spooktacular Halloween Markets for Thrilling Finds.