The famed Magic Castle would become hugely important to both of us.
Geri Larsen, The Magic Lady, and mother of Milt and Bill Larsen.
The Magic Castle generally does not allow photography, but here is a pic of Geoff and his proud mom on stage after a show he did in the Palace of Mystery. I am sure he got permission.
Since I do not have any other Magic Castle interior pics, I thought I’d throw in some early pics of Geoff.
The Oscar he is clutching is for special effects for the 1960 George Pal The Time Machine. It was a friend’s and he really did not want to give it back.
The extra hand was used in Geoff’s Bartholomew routine where he would have a card selected, toss the deck into a shopping bag, and a hand would rise out of the bag holding the selected card. There was a lot of humorous byplay with the hand.
Some very early publicity photos. The rope trick is his cut and restored rope which was cut into lots of little pieces. That evolved into his cutting a rope with a blowtorch and restoring it.
Geoff on the Palace of Mystery stage at the Magic Castle doing his cutting a rope with a blowtorch and restoring it effect. Once the rope was on fire, he toasted a marshmallow over it. The fireproof glove he used had nothing to do with the method as it was really there to protect his hand. The restoration was done bare handed.
A very young Geoff entertaining a group of little girls on Valentines Day. His Happy Valentines Day banner is coming out of Abbott’s Cage Production (show it empty, fill it up with stuff, and it all changes into a birdcage the size of the canister with a bird inside), a 40s era piece of magic equipment I still use in my kid show (with a better routine, though).
Same red table, another kid show. When Geoff did the breakaway stuff, it always broke on him and the kid would be able to fix it. That is a red glass Lota Bowl to the right, made by the famed Thayer Magic Company in 1940. The Thayer Magic Company was founded by Floyd Thayer in 1907 and was purchased by William Larsen Sr. in 1942. The magic studio was known as Brookledge, and it and the Magic Castle have an interesting linked history, which Geoff describes in the book. We still have it, and they are fairly valuable today, because, you know, glass. Thanks to Magic Castle librarian Joe Fox for identifying it for us.
An exhausted Geoff while we were on tour in Hawaii.