- The Magic Circle,
- 12 Stephenson Way,
- NW1 2HD
On a summer’s day in 1905, twenty three amateur and professional magicians gathered together at London’s Pinoli’s Restaurant with the intention of forming a magic club. The result was the founding of The Magic Circle.
The first official meeting was held at The Green Man public house in Soho, but later meetings were held in a room above the stage of St. George’s Hall in Langham Place, where Maskelyne and Devant presented their mysteries to a delighted public for so many years. David Devant, the greatest magician of his era, became the first President of The Magic Circle, and the Society grew rapidly and prospered.
The Magic Circle moved into its new permanent Headquarters at 12 Stephenson Way, London NW1, conveniently situated just a short walk from Euston Station. The 7,000 square foot building, called The Centre for the Magic Arts, was designed and refurbished at a cost of £2.1 million, and has widely been acclaimed as the finest magic headquarters in the world.
It includes The Clubroom and The Devant Room with showcases displaying unique apparatus of the past. More priceless treasures, memorabilia and magical posters are in a further museum on the lower ground floor. This heritage area also houses the lending and reference libraries with the largest collection of magic books in Europe. The antiquarian library includes the first book on conjuring in the English language, Scott’s “Discoverie of Witchcraft”. Members may borrow books from the lending library and there is also a video room to view performances of magicians past and present.
At the top of the building, reached by lift or the spectacular helical staircase, is the fully equipped theatre, where magic shows of all kinds are presented. It has comfortable raked seating for 162 with excellent sound and lighting as well as artistes’ dressing rooms. The Magic Circle headquarters has become the focal point for magic and magicians in the United Kingdom.
The Centre of The Magic Arts currently maintains and manages the building and is itself a registered charity. 9 May 2011