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The American Studios

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The American Studios was a theatrical supplies business and magic shop owned and operated by Dariel Fitzkee.[1] Located at 1060 Folsom Street in San Francisco, it was also the publisher of several of his books, and a magic dealer by mail. Fitzkee started The American Studios in late 1925, at first handling only small drapery and scenic installations, but by 1928 it had become...

...a full-service theatrical supply company, offering theatrical scenery, stage settings, drapes, decorations, stage equipment, counterweight systems, sloats (wood slats used for backdrops), and hardware.[2]

In the March 1928 Sphinx, Fitzkee advertised "The Superlative Pack," including the address for The American Studios but not the name. The ad included the note: "Selling occasional exclusive effects only. Positively not a dealer."[3]

Apparently, it took him less than a year to change his mind, probably because The American Studios provided Fitzkee a way to feed his magical hobby. The first magic advertisement from The American Studios came in The Sphinx in February 1929.[4] The magic magazine ads continued and within a few months, magicians in the San Francisco area, having seen the ads, started stopping by the "The Magician's Den," the magic shop Fitzkee had formed inside the The American Studios.[5]

Ads appeared almost monthly in several publications for over a year, until April 1930, when the last ads for the American Studios appeared.[6] Suffering from the Great Depression, the business closed, and in February 1931, Fitzkee ran a two-and-a-half page listing in The Linking Ring of the remaining inventory, for sale "at close-out prices."[7]

References

  1. The Linking Ring, Vol. 88 No. 10, October 2008, p. 73
  2. David R. Goodsell, Finding Dariel Fitzkee: The Man with the Trick Brain, 2008, p. 74
  3. The Sphinx, Vol. 27 No. 1, March 1928, p. 47
  4. The Sphinx, Vol. 27 No. 12, February 1929, p. 589
  5. David R. Goodsell, Finding Dariel Fitzkee: The Man with the Trick Brain, 2008, p. 77
  6. David R. Goodsell, Finding Dariel Fitzkee: The Man with the Trick Brain, 2008, p. 87
  7. The Linking Ring, Vol. 10 No. 12, February 1931, pp. 1552-54