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Magic shops are the most awe-inspiring places in the world. Generations of magicians have gotten bitten by the magic bug after seeing a performance from the person behind the counter but these brick and mortar stores are quickly disappearing.
The Magic Apple, an LA based magic shop, just celebrated its 20th anniversary. The shop and its owner continue to remind us about the importance of having a communal space to share magic.
On August 19th The Magic Apple opened its doors to welcome a few hundred patrons to hang out, capitalize on great deals, and even participate in a pinball competition. When owner Brent Geris got to the store, there was a line of people waiting to be let in. For the first time in a while DVDs were flying off the shelves at a $5 price point that’s hard to top.
The big centerpiece of the event was the release of The Magic Apple LIVE 2. This is the sequel to their first book that was released on their ten year anniversary and features effects from the biggest names in magic worldwide.
Brent Geris’ vibrant personality has kept the store afloat for two decades. Funnily enough, the store first started out selling educational supplies with only a small room devoted to magic. Once people caught wind of a new magic shop, the store was flooded with magicians and the store transformed into a seller of magic.
At the time of opening there were only four magic shops in LA, and The Magic Apple now stands alone as the last remaining magic shop open in the city.
Geris accredits a big factor of the shop’s success to its ability to host magicians for jam sessions. Their poker table/prime hangout spot has seen the likes of magician Rob Zabrecky and even actor Jason Sudeikis come through to hangout.
The Magic Apple remains to be one of 97 magic shops left in the US. For a myriad of reasons, shops worldwide have had to close their doors. Recently in the UK PropDog closed their doors due to rising costs that were necessary to keep the business afloat. For what used to be a commonplace, magic shops are quickly becoming few and far between.
There is nothing quite like the experience of being in a magic shop. As a kid magician, there’s nothing like stepping into a space that is filled from floor to ceiling with trick after trick of all kinds. In places like the Magic Apple, you’re able to fine tune routines by learning subtleties from experienced magicians that you could never get online.
If you ever see a magic shop and have the time, make a quick stop. You never know who will be inside those doors and the stories and secrets that have to share with you. The Magic Apple is a shining example of the way a magic shop should be run, prioritizing the customers and the community magic has to offer. We can only hope that stores like this will remain open to service our community and inspire the next generation of magicians.