Hollywood’s magic-themed entertainment venue The Magic Castle is to set up shop in China through a deal with local tech and entertainment firm Novaex Group. It is the first time that Magic Castles Inc. has licensed its property outside North America.
Novaex has obtained an exclusive license to use the The Magic Castle IP in themed entertainment projects, including indoor and outdoor entertainment centers, hotels, and restaurants in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Novaex CEO, Jeson Zheng and a team led by magician Andrew Goldenhersh, will create a new style of magic experience, with state of the art technology playing a major part in the development.
The first Magic Castle-themed project is being developed for Novaex’s offline Internet community brand The Circle, which integrates a five-star hotel resort, recreation, catering, natural scenery, luxury shopping and immersive entertainment that features VR, AR, MR, 3D and hologram projections. Novaex also plans to build a Magic School under the MCI brand banner, for children and teens.
The announcement was made Friday at an event in Beijing. “We are looking forward to the creation of this first project together with NOVAEX that will showcase the over 55-year legacy of The Magic Castle and the long history of magic in China,” said MCI founder Milt Larsen at the launch event.
The Magic Castle was launched in 1952 and took shape a decade later when Larsen leased and restored an ornate 1909 mansion in Hollywood, California, turning it into a meeting place for magicians. In 1963 the castle became the home of the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.