Art & Design


Bernard’s Magic Shop

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Bernard’s Magic Shop has been a Melbourne fixture for as long as I can remember, and it was with great sadness that I walked past where it used to be on Elizabeth Street a few months ago to find it no longer there.

Thankfully, it hadn’t closed down, but had moved upstairs, its entrance only a little further up the street.

At this point, I must confess: I love magic. I guess it’s both the kid and the show-off in me, for not only do I love watching magic—it’s one of the few things in my life that I can look upon with a complete lack of cynicism—but I also really enjoy learning magic tricks.

Though, like my fondness for yo-yos, I go through bouts of interest with learning magic. Maybe once every year I’ll get back into it for a month or so, sharpening the tricks I already know whilst trying to add a couple more to my repertoire. I felt that urge again recently, so I decided to make my annual trip to Bernard’s.

A lot broader and more expansive than the old store, the new Bernard’s in a huge room full of all things magical. As well as selling magic tricks, ‘How-To’ magic DVDs and other magic-related paraphernalia, Bernard’s sells costumes, masks and memorabilia, including what no magic store should be without: a couple of creepy vintage ventriloquist dolls.

Don’t get too comfortable. They’ve got the keys for the cabinet.

Though you might expect someone like Mario from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure to be working behind the glass-counter, the staff are a little more straight-laced, but what I found great was their enthusiasm about others who want in, particularly younger up-and-coming magicians. Whilst I was there, one of the staff members was helping a young fellow choose a specific magic-set that was at a difficulty-level that he could handle. I thought that was really sweet: that Bernard’s isn’t just out to sell the most expensive product, but a product suited to its magician’s competency. They have tricks and sets for amateurs, intermediates and all the way up to professional working magicians.

Give magic a go, I say. It’s great to pull out a trick or two at parties, and it can be used to impress girls and children… not that impressing children is on my to-do list, nor should it be on yours… God, I’ll stop now. Magic can sometimes be creepy enough without adding more misunderstandings into the mix:

‘See you in your nightmares!’

Bernard’s Magic Shop
L1/187 Elizabeth St
Melbourne 3000
9670 9270
Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sat 10am – 4pm


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