Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth St’


Bernard’s Magic Shop – Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

January 3, 2008


Another of Melbourne’s great institutions not to get with the online programme.  The best reference we have is their City Search site:
Bernard’s is a relic of a time when there was no Wii or Guitar Hero – when boundary-breaking entertainment was pulling flowers from your sleeve or magically swallowing ten eggs.   Not only does Bernard’s revolve around this culture it actually sells the paraphernalia to set up your own magic act and also is a great place to catch up on the surprisingly numerous magazines devoted to the subject.
Alongside the serious stuff of optical illusions Bernard’s caters for the kitsch freak and fancy dress party goer – and hooray say all of us!  This means Bernard’s is the best place to find (at a reasonable price) that silly hat or mask or rubber spider or KISS makeup or fake vomit or…. you name it if it’s about camp vaudevillian prancing about in silly outfits Bernard’s can help.
A completely unique staple of the Elizabeth Street Golden Culture Strip (From Flinders St to the Markets, you can find more cult and collectable related material than anywhere else in Melbourne!), even if you’re not a trinkets type it’s obligatory to pay at lease one visit to Bernard’s Magic Shop: it is guaranteed to bring out the inner carny in everyone!
What exactly  do they sell? according to the City Search site they’ve got:

  • Magic Supplies
  • Novelties/Jokes
  • Juggling Equipment
  • Masks/Costume Accessories
  • Ventriloquist Dolls
  • Whoopie Cushions

  • Fake Doggy Poo
  • Drinking Birds
  • Wigs and Hats
  • Make-up and Accessories
  • Masquerade and Horror Masks
  • Costume Accessories
  • Balloon Modelling
  • Juggling Equipment

Professional magic items for the serious performer and novice alike.Instruction and History Books

  • Brass Tricks
  • Coin Tricks
  • Card Tricks
  • Rope Tricks
  • Stage Illusions
  • Close-up Magic
  • Videos


The best thing about Bernard’s:  that it still exists and thrives.   Halloween collectables.
The downside:  perhaps people having to make cheap plastic gimcracks in a sweatshop overseas isn’t so great. But other than that, I really don’t think there is a downside to Bernard’s!
Bernard’s Magic Shop
Level 1/187 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Mon-Fri 9:30-5:30pm
Sat 10-4pm



Inferno DVDs/Videos – Elizabeth Street

December 28, 2007

Inferno’s website says the following:

SPECIALISING IN RARE & DELETED DVDs & VIDEOS:Cult Movies, Horror, Sci-Fi, World Cinema, Animation, Music Videos,Wrestling, UFC & Pride, Drive-In Movies, Blaxploitation,

HK & Martial Arts, Classics from 1940s to 1970s, Films of Great Directors
It’s one of those shops you really don’t find much anymore – where product placement hasn’t yet slimed its insidious way into the shop arrangements, slickness and strategy are lacking completely.  Comparing Inferno to alternaculture counterparts like Minotaur, it seems almost quaint and old fashioned in decor.  If it’s like the shop time forgot visually, that’s because all the effort is going into the video, cd and DVD selections.  Inferno sells CD albums, compilations and soundtracks from psychedelia to heavy metal – always with an emphasis on the alternative. Their selection of CDs is smallish though and by no means comprehensive. What they do have an astonishing range of is actual new Videos of cult cinema.  In the day where it seems to be DVD or dodo, it’s really rare to see such a comprehensive range of new videos.  I’m not sure whether they’re legit or dubs, but regardless they’re sitting there on the shelves, winking at you.   DVD or video format  – whichever you prefer there’s a jaw dropping array of schlock horror,  fantasy and art house films on display.  My partner’s cultometre was going crazy over the horror/scifi collection of zombie, robot and killer alien films, plus an impressive array of  Russ Meyer sexploitation.  My aesthetic spider senses were tingling over the arthouse collection from Europe and the UK 65 to 75:  films like the Quiller Memorandum, Fellini’s Satyricon, staples like Quadrophenia, Performance, Blow Up, Get Carter.  They also stock second hand cult books: including rarities, film books, and a whole lot of other sections you’ll just have to explore for yourself.  The obligatory collectables abound: magazines, metal cases, rare packaging, figurines etc sit behind the counter squashed into a monolith of dreams,the occasional discernible name or title peeking out like a diamond in a coal stack – except in this case what is diamond and what is coal is definitely in the eye of the collector. 
Open odd hours during the week and weekends, it is definitely worth seeking out Inferno – it sits resolutely between the narrow cracks of the major chain stores by maintaining its idiosyncratic obsessive collector’s approach. It differs from counterpart further down Elizabeth Minatour by aiming unashamedly at a more specific collector crowd  and in many ways a more adult demographic interested in the truly obscure. Of course, their second hand section is also lovingly curated.  
A weighty and impressive kookster anachronism in the gloss-age of the 21st century and all the better for it.  
SHOP:1st Floor349 Elizabeth St.Melbourne(near LaTrobe St., opp Melbourne Central)


SHOP HOURS:Tues 12:00 – 5:00Thurs 12:00 – 5:00Friday 12:00 – 6:00Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

03 9640 0304


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