Magician and shop owner Murray Hadfield does a floating card trick inside his soon to be closed store

Victoria magic shop will soon disappear

Murray's Trick & Joke Shop closing doors permanently on Aug. 25, due to changing economic climate

A popular downtown magic shop is moving its business online due to poor sales, dwindling tourism and a tough economic climate.

Murray’s Trick & Joke Shop, 688 Broughton St., will close its doors permanently on Aug. 25, a sad decision for owners and professional magicians Murray Hatfield and Teresa Midbo, who moved from Calgary in 2006 to take over the business.

“We had intentions of having this as part of our lives for years to come,” Hatfield said.

Before 2009, the couple were able to ride out the slow winter months with strong Halloween sales, but a consumer shift to online sales and pop-up Halloween shops began chipping away at their bottom line.

“Locals don’t seem to come downtown as much anymore, with the big stores in Langford and UpTown – not that those are bad, but it’s a change,” Hatfield said. “There’s certainly a lot more empty space in the downtown core than there was seven years ago when we moved here.”

The couple plans to launch a revamped online store, magictrick.com, in September.

“Magic is still very much a tactile, hands-on experience, but the props, books, DVDs, etc., are all selling online,” Hatfield said. “The domain name is probably the most valuable part of our business.”

The trick and joke shop traded hands only twice over its four decades in business.

It opened in the late 1970s as Crazy Frank’s and was bought by Tony and Ann Eng in the 1980s.

Hatfield fell in love with Victoria in the mid-1980s after performing at the now-defunct JayCee Fair at the old Memorial Arena.

Visits to the West Coast became an annual event during the couple’s 25-year run of Magic ‘n’ Miracles, a fundraising tour to benefit charities across Canada, and they saw an opportunity when Eng mentioned he was ready to retire.

“It’s sad the trick and joke shop isn’t going to be in Victoria going forward, especially after three-plus decades of history,” Hatfield said. “That’s hard to walk away from, but it’s also an exciting new opportunity for us.”

Just Posted

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read