Tag Archives: magic

Things to know before we visit the Magic Castle

This is a short primer if you’re joining me at the Magic Castle! I give this spiel a lot and sometimes I forget a tip or rule so it’s easier to just have this page here like it’s my “standard operating procedure.” If Google sent you here, unfortunately, I can’t issue an invite or bring you there unless we are friends.

Know before you go

If you only learn a few things before you visit, just read about the dress code, cell phone and parking situation.

Dress code

The dress code at the Magic Castle is extremely strict. If you’re unsure about the dress code, err on the side of dressing up. Read up here but here’s my unofficial guidance: 

  • Men: For men, basically, you are wearing a suit and jacket with a tie. Two most common issues: 1) Dress pants – If your pants have brads or “5 pockets” (like jeans) these are telltale signs they are not dress pants and won’t work. No khakis, chinos, denim. 2) Dress shoes – I know it’s stylish to wear sneakers with a suit now but you can’t do that. Wear leather dress shoes. 
  • Women: Women should wear “cocktail attire,” gowns or dresses. No exposed midriffs. I have rarely seen any women’s attire rejected. One banned item is leather jackets or “moto jackets”– you’ll be asked to check those at the door. So if you tend to be cold, make another choice without a zipper. The only exception to men wearing a suit jacket is lending it to a female to warm up. 
  • No exceptions: As a member, I can’t change or bend the rules. It does not matter how expensive or designer or fashionable the item is, you won’t be let in unless you meet the code. I have had a few occasions where folks in my group have been sent down to the H&M to buy new pants or a tie! 

Cell phones/photography

You are allowed to have cell phones but they need to be on silent the whole time. You are not allowed to take any photos anywhere inside the Castle. You’ll get kicked out if you take a photo. (There’s a small photo-op outside, though!) 

Parking and traffic

There is only valet parking and it’s $30. I’m sure there is some other parking solution around but it would be a long walk. Consider taking a taxi to avoid the valet. 

Navigate here: 7001 Franklin Av. There is a Hotel, but that’s not where we’re going. Beware that traffic can be really intense on nights of a Hollywood Bowl show or an awards show in Hollywood.

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Other details and background

What are we even doing there?

The Magic Castle is both a “hangout” and an entertainment venue. There are many different lounge areas and bars to have a drink and chitchat. And woven throughout the manor are 3-8 different showrooms where you can see magic. Each of the showrooms is constructed to feature a different “genre” of magic: from large Vegas-style shows with animals and stunts to smaller card magic, “walkaround” and bar magic. There is basically no place on the planet designed to spotlight so many different forms of performing art. The main showrooms are formally booked with new performers each week from all over the world. Most of our time is spent hanging out in line for a show where we can continue to drink and socialize while we wait for it to begin.

Ways of getting in

The Magic Castle is a members-only private club. You can only get in two ways: 1) we go together, as a group 2) a member sends you an “invitation” and you can go on your own. 

Most people go to the Castle on an invitation. With an invitation, you’re required to make a dinner reservation and pay a cover charge. This can be expensive. The food is really great (my wife and I eat there all the time) but it does take up some time. If we go together, I can waive a bunch of the cover charges and we can spend more time seeing magic without the sit-down dinner. The food in Hollywood is great so sometimes I like to grab an early dinner nearby and then head to the club. There is also great bar food served all over the club which requires no reservation. 


On Saturday and Sunday, the Castle is also open for brunch. This is the only time people under 21 are allowed there. There are fewer performers booked during these days and one showroom is geared more for children. It is a great time as a family but not the whole experience for adults.