For the past year, our followers have been able to view over thirty hours of magic performance video in The Screening Room. This opportunity was born out of a collaboration with Dale and Lynda Harney to bring footage of their TV series, The Magic Palace, to a brand new audience almost forty years after it was originally recorded. (The full story of the series and how it came to be was described in the profile of Dale in the April, 2016 issue of Magicol, now sold out.)
Through that collaboration, we were brought into contact with magic collector Larry Thornton. When most magic collectors are focused on accumulating apparatus, books, posters and ephemera, Larry set his sights on a different medium. In the early 1970s, he set about collecting the visual record of magicians who performed on film and television. His collection included a nearly complete set of VHS recordings of The Magic Palace, in remarkable condition.
But that was not all. Before the age of home Betamax and VHS, Larry would visit magic conventions and, using state of the art equipment (8mm film!) would record magicians performing. Sometimes on stage as part of convention shows, but often performances were shot privately in hotel rooms for small close-up audiences, or just the camera. Through the years, Larry has mantained a meticulously catalogued collection kept in pristine condition and were are pleased to be able share some of the treasures of that collection with you.
Magicana would like to thank Larry for his vision, for entrusting us with the record he has created and for allowing us to make them accessible to magic enthusiasts around the world as part of the ever-expanding Screening Room. We invite you to enjoy some Movie Magic!