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“Like if your aunt and uncle did magic at their house.”
Review of Houdini Museum

Houdini Museum
Ranked #8 of 34 things to do in Scranton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED! A museum dedicated to Houdini, the famous magician. Includes a film, a guided tour of the exhibit and a 1 hour stage magic show with nationally known magicians,with doves, ducks, a rabbit and a poodle. Lots of comedy and audience participation. Our magicians have appeared on HBO and other network specials. We often sell out and advance phone reservations are discounted. Arrive between 1 PM and 2:15 and see the entire event. Earlier tours are a bit longer.
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Lovers of clutter and old-timey magic tricks (floating woman, balls and cups, pulling the rabbit out of the hat, etc.) you have found your Eden. Two eccentric magicians with an obsession around the founding father of escape acts, Harry Houdini vamp, do tricks, do shtick, and sell their odd little hearts out. The opening presentation of a video (on what must be on televisions bought in the 1980s) from the Travel Channel visiting the very museum you are sitting in get points for sheer ballsy-ness and meta-ness. After that comes the short walk around two medium-sized rooms chock-a-block with Houdini bric-a-brac most of it unlabeled in no particular order and a lot of it frustratingly sitting behind other stuff. Here's a tip: just because you own it doesn't mean you have to display it (also maybe dust once in a blue moon). The saving grace of the experience comes from the female half of the proprietors - Dorothy Dietrich. Specifically her magic act rises out of the general mediocrity of the proceedings not from the tricks - which include just the well-worn classics - but her willingness to drag audience members into the fray charming and vamping her way into their hearts. Given the small audience drawn, you're likely to wind up as one of them. The male half of the team, the unlikely named "Jonny Bravo" presents like of the junior version of the same tricks interposed with an overly earnest attempt to sell inexpensive magic-related trinkets. Another tip: if children came with audience members, they pretty much were going to wind up in the gift shop (or "gift corner" more accurately) anyway so no need to push so hard (also the "I'm psycho" thing is a little offputting - maybe dial it down a notch). In short, for a price less than a movie with popcorn you may get to watch your husband get pretend stabbed in the neck - how you gonna beat that?

7  Thank thewestchestarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (142)
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76 - 80 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 9 December 2013

My grandsons, and I, 14 years old and 11years old, spent an amazing 3 1/2 hours at the museum yesterday. What a wonderful treat and privilege to be entertained by one of the most famous and talented magician in the history of the world,Dorothy Dietrich. I suggest that before you attend the museum, tour and show, that you Google this amazingly talented , beautiful and sincerely sweet lady and watch the videos of her world famous bullet catch and straight jacket escape, with Tony Curtis narrating. It was a thrill to be so close to this world famous magician. The theater was very comfortable, the tour extremely informative ,and the show was thrilling!!
Kudos to Dorothy and the great Bravo!!! Sincerely,Jess Rothenberg

2  Thank Jess R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

The museum is old, cluttered, filled with some crazy junk and run by a pair of eccentric people who are somewhat entertaining, trite, and silly at the same time. The show is a bit repetitive. The place needs repair. I froze inside.

However, I enjoyed it immensely. It is not inexpensive (about $20) and they are huckstering all their magic tricks during the show. Regardless, I enjoyed the show quite a bit. I felt like I went through a time machine. The parking is dreadful in the area, it's in a run down part of town (lock your car!). Hopefully they will get enough $$ from their admissions to fix up the place. The place was packed when I was there. Everyone there seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

I definitely found it to be more interesting and fascinating than these cheesy amusement parks that are totally vanilla.

3  Thank ABW401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We were there 3 days ago and had a wonderful time. Jen B's review captures it well: an eccentric vaudevillian feel. Sorry Jen, can I steal another line? I couldn't agree more when you the Bravo and Dorothy are passionate about the craft, the history, are friendly and charismatic. We chatted for quite a while after the show and learned about their backstories and wow, these folks have stories to tell. I have two girls and was delighted to FINALLY see a magician who was woman (rather than assistant). As a former animal trainer in Los Angeles, I'm super sensitive to the condition of any animals used in shows or acts, and their critters were in great form an clearly loved and cared for. The physical space was like Grandma's attic: wonders piled on wonders, all old, all of meaning, all awaiting a little explanation. I loved that the tour was guided as I'm sick sick sick of going to museum, seeing an object, and have dozens of questions far beyond those answered by the descriptive plaque next to the item. You can ask Bravo all kinds of questions...he knows all about it. Very good time.

1  Thank 205spanky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2013

Felt like I stepped back in time! The eccentric vaudevillian feel was fun , entertaining and friendly.
Left the place feeling like we had made new friends.
The museum is run by friendly, charismatic people with a passion for their craft and it's history.
"Bravo", Bravo! Encore Dorothy!
Thank you for the smiles ,laughter and good time!

1  Thank Jen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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