Friday, April 1, 2016
As of yesterday, March 31, 2016, The Larcom Theater in Beverly Ma. went up for sale. This was the second theater owned by White Horse Productions, the folks who put on the Le Grand David Magic Shows for 35 years. They owned both the Cabot St. Cinema Theatre and the Larcom.
Both theaters were built by the Ware brothers of Marblehead Mass. The Cabot opened in 1920, the Larcom opened in 1912. For a time the Larcom had both live theatrical events and films. By the 1930s they mainly showed films. But in 1984, the Le Grand David folks purchased the theatre and renovated it under the direction of Cesareo Pelaez, the company leader. In 1985, a second 2 hour production of stage magic debuted at the Larcom. Originally called Le Grand David in Concert, it was different from the Cabot Show. Only a couple of effects were duplicated, but even those, like the Broom Suspension, were presented in a different manner.
The 6,726-square-foot, 560-seat theater, located at 13 Wallis St., is listed at $699,900.
It's true they were both stage magic shows complete with illusions, hand-made costumes, incredible scenery all hand painted by company members, but there was a difference in the who shows. The Larcom show had a different feel to it. It was a tad livelier and brighter. The show at the Cabot had more grandeur and theatricality. Both shows were great, don't get me wrong, but this show at the Larcom had a profound affect on me. Much like the Cabot show from many years before, this show at the Larcom was like a shock to my system, a wake up call, if you will, to the potential of what stage magic could and should be.
When the show began, I was struck by the
brightness and burst of color from the costumes. This show had a different pace from the original show. Perhaps the word festive would be a good description of the show.
Take a look at this one costume worn by Cesareo. Like the original show, there were tons and tons of
I'm trying to remember, but I think it was the Larcom show where I saw David, Le Grand David himself present the Harbin Upside Down production box. This was something that David had built himself and to my knowledge is the only one in existence. I think there was an article about the Upside Down production box in one of the company programs at one point. Basically, it was a box with a handle on the top and the bottom had a flap/door that hung open. David would lift it up and reach under and inside the box and remove numerous items. It really was an unusual trick and a stunning piece of magic, and really a piece of magic history having been the creation of the great Robert Harbin.
My favorite routine in the show was The Orange and the Rice by Cesareo. Why? Because of his mechanical monkey! That little guy stole the show. Cesareo had the entire place in stitches with that routine and with that monkey. Last year, I purchased one of those mechanical monkeys for my own show. I named him Marco, after Cesareo's character.
The only real regret I have about that show was that I only saw it a few times. I wish I had seen it many many more times. The show at the Cabot is burned into my memory because I have a video of the entire performance given to me by Cesareo. Oh, to have one of the Larcom as well. Who knows, maybe David Bull will one day dig through the video archives and share this wonderful show with those who loved it and with those who had not ever seen it.
But for those interested in getting a piece of memorabilia from the show they are having an Auction on April 10th of the remainder of the Le Grand David items. This is your last chance to get a piece of history! http://www.kaminskiauctions.com/servlet/Search.do?auctionId=97
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Well it's official, the Cabot St. Cinema Theatre, which was once home (for 37 years) to the incredible Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company has sold. When it was first announced that the theatre was for sale, I must admit I feared for the worst. I was scared that a developer would come in and tear down the old theatre and put up condos. Just one town over, in Salem, there was once a theatre. In fact there is a fairly well known photo of Houdini's props sitting out in front of the Theatre making an incredible display. That theatre was torn down ages ago.
I recently learned that there had been some 20,000 live event theatres back in the heyday of Vaudeville and now about 250 remain. Thankfully, the Cabot will be one of those that stays. Apparently, it was sold to a group of townspeople who plan to turn it into the Cabot Performing Arts Center. BRAVO!!! And they've announced a bit of renovation as well. First up will be installing new seats. Having sat in those Cabot seats many times, I can say, yep, that is needed! I'm not sure what else they plan to do, but I for one am happy the old theatre is staying a theatre!
It reopens Nov 14th, once again showing movies. Soon they'll also be doing live events. Probably no magic shows on the horizon, but with the popularity of the new touring shows, The Illusionists, Masters of Illusion, and others, who knows?!
I will make one suggestion though, if anyone of the new owners cares. You should acquire one of the LGD Original Paintings and permanently mount it in the Lobby. Had it not been for Cesareo and the many many many cast members, and family members who worked on the LGD show, that theatre probably would not be standing today.
By the way, an interesting side note, the Theatre officially sold on Oct 16th, Cesareo's birthday.
The new theatre comes with a new website www.TheCabot.org