LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A popular magic store in Long Beach is about to close their doors and locals want to know why Presto Magic is literally about to do a vanishing act.
KCAL9′s Andrea Fujii went in search of the answer.
She found kids lined up — to learn from the best. Frederic “Presto” Broder has owned the store for more than 40 years.
The store is mystical and magical and successful.
“[The store] encourages kids to continue the legend of magic,” Broder said.
Broder, now 81, said his rent is too high and his wife is sick. So he has to close.
Customers — many of them young — came by Friday to say “thank you.” Broder humbly replied to each, “My pleasure.”
Bryan Juarez-Lopez, 13, remains a fan and says Presto is his idol. “He is the great magician I’ve ever met,” said Juarez-Lopez.
Presto has performed all over the Southland, including the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Wherever he laid down his (rabbit filled) hat, Broder was home. “Magic for most people is an attempt to entertain and amuse and make people feel good,” he said.
Presto Magic, according to Broder, is the largest magic store on the West coast.
Without the store, 13-year-old Alex Ho thinks he’ll be at a loss. Ho loves, “that face that everybody gets when you do a trick. How you feel like anything’s possible.”
Broder estimates there are about 1000 magic tricks left in the store. Anything that is not sold will be boxed up and put in storage.”
With news of the store’s impending closing, longtime customers have been showing up to scoop up last-minute bargains.
As Presto readies to close his doors, he hopes the store will somehow live on. “Remember there is no better hobby in the world than magic.”