Hollywood’s Magic Castle Sells to Video Game Mogul and Member


Video game mogul and lifelong magician Randy Pitchford is set to be the new owner of the historic Magic Castle in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times reported the sale of the manor in the heart of Hollywood’s tourism district that is the headquarters for the Academy of Magical Arts and a popular magician clubhouse and performance venue. The deal is expected to close by the end of April.

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Pitchford told the Times that the deal ensures the Magic Castle remains the academy’s clubhouse, as real estate developers had been trying to acquire the 3-acre site to build housing or a hotel.

Pitchford purchased The Magic Castle from the Glover family, which had owned the property since 1961. Thomas O. Glover first leased the building that year to the founders of The Magic Castle, William “Bill” Larsen Jr., Irene Larsen and Milt Larsen, according to the Times.

The deal includes the small Magic Castle Hotel on the site. The price has not yet been disclosed.

“I expect there will be investment into all of the property,” Pitchford said. “There is opportunity there, with [Erika Larsen, daughter of founders Bill and Irene Larsen] at the helm.”

Pitchford is the founder of Gearbox Entertainment Co., and member of the academy based at The Magic Castle, where he married his wife Kristy Pitchford on stage.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.