Posts Tagged ‘magic’


The Magic Lantern – a cache of curiousities on Brunswick St, Fitzroy

February 25, 2011

One of the most remarkable new establishments I’ve had the pleasure of setting both feet inside, the marvels of Melbourne’s Wunderkammer not withstanding, is The Magic Lantern.

Wall to wall oddities related to tricks and treats of an older age:  magic, optical illusions, cardboard theatres, puppets – imagine a time before TV, before DVDs, before gaming, where amusement was only to be found in the head, on paper and in actions… these are the imaginative tools used to build a sense of the surreal, the infinite, the stuff of dreams. A magic lantern was itself a pre-20th century optical trick, the first projector, perhaps it could be said, so that pretty much infers the interest and scope of this store.

The Magic Lantern is replete with such weapons against a rainy day and a drab room, so grab some candle-lamps, don a frilly frock and take your imagination away with fairies, gypsies, devils, conjurers and the wonders of the play….


155 Brunswick St


Open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm


Esoteric Bookshop – 471 Neerim Rd, Murrumbeena VIC

March 19, 2008


 Murrumbeena hardly counts as Melbourne: closer to outer suburbs bordering country Victoria! Nevertheless, the longstanding Esoteric Bookshop definitely rates a big Underground Melbourne mention.  Formerly housed in a tucked-away arcade in Camberwell, a couple of years ago the Esoteric Bookshop picked up its’ bedknobs and broomsticks and relocated out in Murumbeena.  A veritable stalwart of the Melbourne pagan/alternative communities, David and the Esoteric Bookshop crew have been providing everything a seeker of underground ideas could want from tarot to talismans, books of shadows to black robes, altars to agates and everything in between for at least the last ten years, perhaps longer.  

 Pagan centric, but generally encouragers of anyone with an open and seeking mind, the good people at the Esoteric Bookshop are always generous with their advice, and also offer the services of a tarot reader for the confused destiny seeker.  They also hold classes and meets in their wild and fertile back garden, offering a meeting place and the chance to learn some skills for the wanna blessed-be to the gently curious and even the coven-converts. They have an online site where one can browse the extensive book and accessory catalogues, or find out about the latest meets.

The best thing about the Esoteric Bookshop: the eclectic range of books, collectables, charms, intriguing objects and of course the bright and eclectic staff and customers one can meet in there.  

The downside: could it be any FURTHER from the city>>>>>????

The Esoteric Bookshop
471 Neerim RoadMurrumbeena  Victoria, Australia  3163Telephone : +61 3 9530 4843Email 


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


%d bloggers like this: