Jun. 10—With trick cards, gag gifts, wands and a professional magician, The Magic Shop & More opened on Commercial Street in Astoria in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Seth Howard, the owner, has been fascinated by magic tricks since the seventh grade, when his science teacher held a card to his forehead and read his mind. Howard was so inspired that he watched David Copperfield and "The Bozo Show," and checked out all the books about magic from his school library.
He begged his teacher to show him how the card trick worked, and when he was told it was a trick deck of cards, he bought his own.
"The love of magic has stayed with me ever since," Howard said.
After moving to Oregon in 1999 from Kansas, Howard went on to work at the magic shop in Lloyd Center in Portland and began performing in his own magic shows.
He moved to the North Coast and performed in the Festival of Dark Arts at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, among other local shows.
"I always wanted to open my own magic shop," Howard said.
So, he opened The Magic Shop & More to offer magic supplies for all ages and skill levels, from beginners to advanced illusionists. He said he hopes to get a group of people interested in magic to come hang out in the store on a regular basis.
Along with dice, props, stink bombs, disappearing ink and more, Howard also plans to expand the shop to offer party supplies, balloons and helium. Customers can also hire Howard as a magician.
"People will be able to book me for events and parties," Howard said.
A crowd of neighboring business owners and others from the community gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the shop on May 28.
"I'm a friend of the magician and he's a big supporter of the local community," said Taz Davis, the owner of Table 360 Bakery & Bistro. "It's always exciting to have another business open on Commercial Street and the more downtown thrives the more successful we all are."
Katrina Millange said she's seen Howard perform magic tricks in the past and was impressed.
"I'm very pleased to see him open his own shop, he's pretty amazing," Millange said.
David Reid, the executive director of the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, became the new shop's first customer. He bought a trick golf ball and received a free magic wand.