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The Story Of The Magic Castle Family's Semi-Private Home Theater In Mid-Wilshire

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Back in 1942, magician Bill Larsen Sr. swapped his family's home in Pasadena for the Mid-Wilshire residence of Floyd Thayer, a fellow magician who had retired from the business. A decade earlier, Thayer had installed a small theater inside the Spanish-style house—named Brookledge after the natural stream that flows behind it—where for many years, magicians and other entertainers such as Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth would come to hang out and perform for each other. In the early '60s, Larsen's sons, Milt and Bill Jr., along with Bill Jr.'s wife, Irene, opened the Magic Castle, and Brookledge's theater went dark. But a few years ago, Bill and Irene's daughter, Erika Larsen, decided to revive it and thus the Brookledge Follies, a monthly variety show in the vaudeville tradition, was born. Now entering its fifth season, the invitation-only Follies is looking to upgrade its vaudeville-era sound and lighting systems, and to that end has launched the requisite Kickstarter page. As of this writing, potential investors have five days left to get in on the hocus-pocus.

· Brookledge Follies 2014 Season and BEYOND! [Kickstarter]
· Brookledge, Hancock Park's Magical Home [LAT]

Magic Castle

7001 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028