Davenports / International Magic

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Postby mark lewis » Tue May 27, 2008 12:52 am



It is not well known that I had a long association with International Magic at one time. I know them all well. Martin's sister Georgina is visiting Toronto next week and will be saying hello to me. I am going to direct her attention to this thread and get a few of you into trouble. I have a very evil sense of humour.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby Mandrake » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:31 pm

With some time to kill last Friday afternoon I thought I'd nip down and see if Davenports was in a better situation than the last time I visited a few years ago. Nope, the area was still the same. At the far end of an almost deserted underground passage with only a Fancy Dress Shop and Fitness Machine Shop for company, all other units being closed and shuttered. Litter everywhere and three homeless guys dossing down - two of them right up against Davenport's window. As there was only one guy serving and he had a customer I didn't bother going in, the window display was good and attractive but, to be honest, the scruffy location put me right off. OK that's not Davenports' fault but it can't be helping their business much. Really they need to find a better location.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby mr invisible » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:03 pm

Mandrake wrote:With some time to kill last Friday afternoon I thought I'd nip down and see if Davenports was in a better situation than the last time I visited a few years ago. Nope, the area was still the same. At the far end of an almost deserted underground passage with only a Fancy Dress Shop and Fitness Machine Shop for company, all other units being closed and shuttered. Litter everywhere and three homeless guys dossing down - two of them right up against Davenport's window. As there was only one guy serving and he had a customer I didn't bother going in, the window display was good and attractive but, to be honest, the scruffy location put me right off. OK that's not Davenports' fault but it can't be helping their business much. Really they need to find a better location.
Agree Paul.. When i lived in London, i used to visit Davenports and International magic nearly every weekend. Sadly both places are not ideally suited for visiting, where you have issues parking outside International magic, due to crazy and greedy parking charges, and as you mentioned, a sad location for davenports, which is the oldest magic shop in the world and deserves a better area to run their business.. Also, its amazing to think, these are the only 2 bricks and mortar magic shops in London. :shock: :?

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby mark lewis » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:57 pm

I quite like the Davenports location since it is very handy to find it right at the tube station. The other criticisms are probably valid though.
Having said that I think it is a miracle both dealers have managed to survive in the days of the internet. Magic shops in North America are closing down rapidly. And I remember in the old days there must have been about 10 dealers in London!

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby FTHO » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:44 pm

Every time I go to Davenports I get lost!
I know where it is, but I can never find the entrance the the underground arcade

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby mark lewis » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:15 am

Just follow the smell of urine. You will get there.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby magicofthemind » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:06 am

FTHO wrote:Every time I go to Davenports I get lost!
I know where it is, but I can never find the entrance the the underground arcade


Left from the top of the escalators then left again.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby mr invisible » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:08 pm

mark lewis wrote:Just follow the smell of urine. You will get there.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby Mandrake » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:16 am

mark lewis wrote:Just follow the smell of urine. You will get there.

Harsh, but very true!

FTHO wrote:Every time I go to Davenports I get lost!
I know where it is, but I can never find the entrance the the underground arcade

Stand with your back to Charing Cross Railway Station and the entrance to the underground 'mall' is over the road, slightly to the right. There's a convenient pedestrian crossing which takes you to the entrance between. I checked this on Google Street view and, lo and behold, there are even two guys squatting on the pavement right outside the entrance!

I've only been to International Magic once and that was in connection with lectures they were hosting featuring a certain Toronto based Trade Show Magician, the chap's name escapes me for the moment :wink: but the lectures were good. The guy serving there was very friendly but was obviously there to sell stuff so kept offering to 'show me a few things'. Personally I'd have preferred a few minutes to gaze around and see something of interest rather than to have to keep saying, 'No thanks, I've got that one' and so on.

Sadly I fear the days of 'real' magic shops are more numbered than ever as costs continue to rise and perhaps disposable income becomes rarer. Conventions are really the main way to now see and compare products in the flesh.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby mark lewis » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:40 am

I was at that lecture too. I did overhear Jerry Sadowitz say to the lecturer that it was the best lecture he had ever seen which naturally I was in full enthusiastic agreement with. However, his remark surprised me a trifle since I would never have imagined in a million years that the subject matter would be of particular interest to him but there we are.

I think the real reason that magic shops are sadly disappearing has more to do with competition from the internet than anything else. I am delighted to see that both International and Davenports are still up and running. It is quite a feat to have survived in the present day atmosphere and I am glad they done it.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby Mandrake » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:32 pm

mark lewis wrote:I did overhear Jerry Sadowitz say to the lecturer that it was the best lecture he had ever seen which naturally I was in full enthusiastic agreement with. However, his remark surprised me a trifle since I would never have imagined in a million years that the subject matter would be of particular interest to him
What amazed me was how 'normal', well spoken and polite he was!!

Perhaps we should try to compile a list of real bricks and mortar shops in our various areas? I suspect it won't be a long list, sadly.

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Re: Davenports / International Magic

Postby MentalMik » Tue May 30, 2017 10:05 am

Back in the day, after always ordering stuff from Supreme Magic Co. (I had parcels arriving weekly!) the first store I went to was Davenports. I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed and not sure what I wanted, I think there was only one guy in there and he didn't seem to be very helpful. That could've been because I was indecisive. I did buy some vintage glass 1930's tumblers is all. I lived in Luton so didn't get to visit magic stores much.

When I moved to Seattle I virtually lived at the Pike Place market magic store and spent a small fortune.

Moving soon to California, have to see what store will be nearby.

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