The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating a body found at The Magic Castle on February 24.
The iconic business has become a staple in Hollywood, hosting exclusive events and performances while welcoming some of the world’s top magicians and illusionists.
A large police presence an the coroner were seen at The Magic Castle shortly after calls to emergency personnel.
Here’s what you need to know about the situation:
1. The Death Was a Suicide
TMZ reported that the body was found in a closet by an employee at the business at about 7:30 p.m. on February 24. When the employee found the man, he was dressed “only in his underwear” with a bag over his head; he presumably hung himself.
The suicide is currently under investigation by the LAPD, and details of the incident are still emerging. This post will be updated when additional details on the situation are available.
2. The Man Was a ‘Well Known Las Vegas Magician’ Named Daryl
The Magic Castle released a statement late February 24 identifying the man as longtime magician and educator ‘Daryl,’whose real name is Daryl Easton and was formerly Daryl Martinez.
Easton uses the title “The Magician’s Magician” and usually goes just by his first name. He was a member and frequent visitor at the exclusive Hollywood club and restaurant, and was performing shows all week before his body was found unresponsive Friday evening. He was 61-years old.
Daryl became known in the magic and illusion world as quite the educator/lecturer. He has toured extensively all across the world to perform and give lectures about his craft.
3. The Magic Castle is an Exclusive Club in Hollywood
The Magic Castle is located in Hollywood and is a nightclub geared toward magicians and illusionists. Its membership is an elite club of magicians and costs a fee of $1,500 to become an associate member. An annual payment of $750 is required from its members, the Los Angeles Magazine reported.
In recent years, the business has placed an emphasis on its food at its restaurant.
The Magic Castle is also the clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts..
According to its website, the Academy of Magical Arts is an organization that “promotes the art of magic, encourages fellowship and maintains the highest ethical standards. We provide a friendly, inspiring environment where members and their guests can enjoy the art and each other’s company. Our goals are to advance the art and promote a positive image of magic and magicians worldwide.”
It was founded in 1962 and is a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation that is devoted to the promotion of magic.
4. The Magic Castle Was Constructed in 1909
The Magic Castle was built in 1909 by Rollin B. Lane, a banker and real estate developer. The facility has had two owners since it was constructed. The Lane family sold the building to Thomas O. Glover in 1955, and his family are still the owners. In 1961, Glover leased the building to Milt Larsen, Bill Larsen and Irene Larsen.
In 2011, The Magic Castle experienced a fire that required a lot of modeling.
5. The Owners Were In a Legal Battle In 2015
Two years ago, Larsen and his niece, who is the president of the Academy of Magical Arts got into a legal battle when it was found that the club hadn’t paid at least 100 hospitality workers their full wage.
A 5.5 percent royalty received from yearly food and drink sales was also in question, as the leasee’s received that amount for creating the facility’s “intellectual property” and restoring it to its current state, The Hollywood Reporter wrote.
The royalty didn’t seem like a lot over the years until recently. Sales started to see a big rise in 2011 with business-minded executives at the helm.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that food and beverage sales increased from $5.1 million in 2011 to $8.1 million in 2013. The AMA had requested a chunk of that revenue and a Class Action Lawsuit was filed.