Tag archives: Magic Castle

Magic Castle Cabaret
By Lynda Millner   |   August 9, 2022

Across from the Bird Refuge there used to be a restaurant called Café del Sol. After it closed, Arlene and Milt Larsen bought it, transforming it into a unique private club called the Magic Castle Cabaret. They also own the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, which some of you may have gone to. It’s all […]

A Magical Farewell
By Richard Mineards   |   July 26, 2022

Montecito’s Magic Castle, after five years as a club, is closing its doors. Dynamic duo Milt and Arlene Larsen, who bought the former Cafe del Sol eatery owned by Jack and Emilie Sears, a tiara’s toss from the 42-acre Andree Clark Bird Refuge, in 2016 hosted a farewell bash with 130 club members and friends […]

Magic Castle Acquired
By Richard Mineards   |   April 26, 2022

Los Angeles’ iconic Magic Castle, leased by Santa Barbara dynamic duo Milt and Arlene Larsen since 1961, has been sold. The buyer of the property, just a tiara’s toss or two from the world-famous Hollywood sign, is Randy Pitchford, founder and CEO of the Gearbox Entertainment Company, which developed the Borderlands franchise of video games, […]

It’s Magic!
By Lynda Millner   |   April 5, 2022

Who doesn’t like magicians and their tricks? The Lobero Theatre was recently filled with curious kids and their parents waiting for the curtain to rise to reveal the curiosities of six magicians. They didn’t disappoint – what with sawing people in two, cutting ropes that wouldn’t stay cut, tearing up paper that wouldn’t stay torn, […]

Fabulous Flowerpots
By Richard Mineards   |   December 14, 2021

Arlene Larsen, co-owner of Montecito’s Magic Castle with her husband, Milt, is going to pot! During the downturn caused by the pandemic, Arlene has been busy making one-of-a-kind flowerpots from trim, fabric, and jewelry she has been collecting over the past six decades. “I’ve been making and selling costumes since I was 15 years old,” […]

A Magical Evening
By Richard Mineards   |   May 6, 2021

It was who’s-who of magic lovers and masters of the mystifying when they gathered virtually from New York to Hawaii to celebrate the patriarch of illusion Milt Larsen’s 90th birthday. The virtual event was followed by an intimate COVID-friendly gathering on the grounds of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, sister branch of the Montecito locale, where Milt […]

Poof! The Magic Castle Cabaret is Gone
By Richard Mineards   |   April 8, 2021

Two years after it opened, the owners of Montecito’s Magic Castle Cabaret Milt and Arlene Larsen are moving on, I can exclusively reveal. “The Cabaret has been closed for a long year and we are not getting any younger,” laments Arlene. “When we started, we seemed a lot younger. “After talking it over for many […]

Pushing the Envelope
By Richard Mineards   |   March 11, 2021

It’s all a matter of dimensions! Milt and Arlene Larsen, owners of Montecito’s Magic Castle, fell foul of the Post Office when they were informed the popular cabaret club’s return address on their snail mail was “too low,” with the machines reading the return address rather than the member’s address. “We are eliminating our return […]

Blast from the Past
By Richard Mineards   |   April 23, 2020

Milt Larsen, who just celebrated his 89th birthday, and his wife Arlene have closed their Magic Castle Cabaret near the Bird Refuge as well as the historic Magic Castle in Hollywood during the ongoing pandemic. Milt tells me has been spending the time in quarantine watching his extensive video collection, especially the Hollywood Palace shows […]

When it Rains, it Pours
By Richard Mineards   |   March 26, 2020

As if the coronavirus restrictions weren’t enough, Milt and Arlene Larsen, owners of the Magic Castle opposite the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, have had their computers hacked. “It really was an absolute mess,” says Arlene. “Whoever did it fixed it so we could not send out letters to let everyone know.” The dynamic duo have […]

It’s Magic
By Richard Mineards   |   March 12, 2020

You can’t get much of a greater span in approaches to magic than the acts appearing on It’s Magic!, whose 63rd edition, which annually showcases different types of magic – from subtle sleight of hand to big-stage illusions, performs two shows at the Lobero on Saturday, March 14. On the one hand, we’ll see Michael […]

Magic Castle Cabaret
By Lynda Millner   |   March 14, 2019

As the invitation stated, “From the moment you step through the door you’ll know you’re not in Kansas any more.” There’s a private club with nightclub atmosphere on Los Patos Way across from the Bird Refuge. Milt and Arlene Larsen recently had their grand opening reception for Angel members, media, and special guests. The Magic […]

Puppy Power: Collective Confers Jazz-plus
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 21, 2019

Trying to pigeonhole Snarky Puppy into a single genre would be a fool’s errand, but suffice it to say that the three-time Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn-based collective that features a revolving cast of up to 25 musicians makes music that’s at once heady, heart-centered, and headed for the dance floor, an amalgam they call “music for […]

Ta-Da!
By Richard Mineards   |   February 21, 2019

Fans of the magical arts got quite a treat when Milt and Arlene Larsen‘s Montecito outpost of their legendary Magic Castle in Hollywood opened its doors. The new club, on the former site of the popular eatery Café Del Sol opposite the Andree Clark bird refuge, starred Lance Burton, 58, who did more than 15,000 […]

Magic Castle Cabaret
By James Buckley   |   February 21, 2019

No doubt our universal man-about-town Richard Mineards has covered the opening of Milt and Arlene Larsen‘s Magic Castle Cabaret, Montecito’s new private club, in his column. And there is no doubt that MJ‘s society maven and beauty expert Lynda Millner will report on the same subject soon after, so no need to add my seven […]

Magic Castle Cabaret
By Lynda Millner   |   September 6, 2018

Something new is happening at the bird refuge. There used to be a restaurant called Café del Sol. Today it is being transformed into a private-members-only club called the Magic Castle Cabaret and is located at 30 Los Patos Way. The owners are Arlene and Milt Larsen. If that name sounds familiar, associate it with […]

Open Sesame: It’s Magic
By Richard Mineards   |   August 30, 2018

Montecito’s new Magic Castle cabaret, on the site of the former Cafe del Sol, a tiara’s toss from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, is open for business. The 11,761-sq-ft nitery, founded by Milt and Arlene Larsen, who also own the 55-year-old club of the same name in Hollywood, will initially only be open on Thursdays […]

Crazy Sale
By Lynda Millner   |   March 8, 2018

If any of you have been to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, you probably know its owners are Milt and Arlene Larsen, who live right here in Santa Barbara. There will soon be a Magic Castle Cabaret located at the Bird Refuge. It will be a private club with 200 members and a dress code: […]

The Mud Must Go Somewhere
By Montecito Journal   |   February 22, 2018

Heal the Ocean (HTO) has received numerous (some irate) phone calls regarding the mud being deposited on Goleta and Carpinteria beaches. Television media has also called for a response from us. We told them, and everyone else, we were investigating and would let everyone know when we knew the answer. We at HTO don’t believe […]

Blue State Payback Time
By Montecito Journal   |   December 7, 2017

Bob Hazard‘s debunking of tax reform Myth #3 (Guest Editorial, MJ #23/48) was revelatory, but not debunking. His Myth #3 is “Removing the Federal Deduction for State and Local Taxes is Unfair to High-Tax States such as California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois.” Unfortunately, Mr. Hazard did not address a fundamental issue of […]