It’s a term I’d never heard of. Bricks and Mortar. It means a shop, a real one. not just a dotcom.
We went to Albuquerque for two reasons. It was on the way to Texas from Vegas and; Breaking Bad was filmed there. We’re massive fans.
We arrived late on a Thursday evening and planned to leave again late Friday night. We had another 700 miles to go and only a couple of days in which to do it.
We stayed the night in a Denny’s car park after consuming a huge amount of really unhealthy food, for a few dollars, whilst using the FREE wifi.
I had found that there was only one magic shop in the whole state of New Mexico. I wanted something for a trick I was practicing and found the shop using Google. I told Lois ‘It’s just down the road’
That was a white lie, I really wanted to go. It was technically down the road, it was on the same road, it just happens to be a pretty long road. We did pass the Crossroads Motel and another Denny’s that featured in Breaking Bad so that made the journey a little more interesting.
I had a look on the shop’s website to see if it had the particular item I was interested in and spent an hour browsing the tricks and accessories. I noticed that the shop had a theatre too, there were regular magic shows. Sounds fun!
The thing is, we’re travelling, and we don’t have a physical address for anything to be delivered to us whilst we’re on the road. We need to actually go to a shop and pick up the things we want.
The shop is called Max’s Magic Theatre. The owner? Max Krause. Awesome guy. His shop and theatre rates number 8 out of 124 things to do in New Mexico.
We arrived at the shop at about 1110 and Dave, a volunteer, had just opened up shop. It’s just like you’d expect a magic shop to look like. Glass cabinets teasing you with tricks of all varieties, There’s some nice vintage cardistry and magic art on the wall and some curious objects lying around; probably parts of a trick. Max produces and sells his own magic tricks and effects. He’s got some really cool stuff. Some really strong magic.
We asked Dave for a particular magic accessory, and although they didn’t stock it, it didn’t stop him spending thirty minutes on the phone trying to find it for me. I’ve been in the shop for thirty minutes and this guy is bending over backwards for me. This is great service.
I can’t say that I’ve seen a magic shop in England, and if I had, I wonder if the service would be as great?
Ten minutes later, Max walks in, I know it’s Max because I’ve seen his photo on his website. We were about done and ready to leave. We introduced ourselves to Max and we ended up staying another 90 minutes!
I HATE shopping. But this doesn’t feel like shopping. This is a place where I can talk to like minded people about a serious hobby I have and they’re just as keen to talk about it too! Whilst I’m here, I’m seeing some awesome displays of magical skill.
Max asked me some questions about what kind of magic I was into and what I knew and what I didn’t know. I admitted that I struggled with a well known sleight and Max spent ten minutes or so teaching me his way, and he let me film it on my mobile so I could reference it later! Brilliant idea!
Although I didn’t find the item I was after, Max impressed both Lois and I with two of his own effects, that we bought them both. We don’t have a DVD player so Max took them time to explain the secret.
I talk to Max about his theatre and Dave offers to show me around. The theatre, just back from the shop, has tiered seating for around thirty spectators. It’s intimate but that’s just how this should be. Everyone can see everything. I talk to Dave and Max about how disappointed I was that we would miss the show as we were leaving for Texas.
Max, without being pushy in anyway at all, tells me all about the show and why I should stay another day and come to one of his shows.
I really want to. This will be the first magic show I’ve seen whilst we’ve been on the road.
We decide to stay another day for the show and I pick up two tickets for the Saturday night.
We say our goodbyes and we leave feeling that the show is going to be great.
We spent the day time on Saturday finishing off our list of Breaking Bad filming locations, Walt’s House, The Laundry, Jessie’s House and The Candy Lady. Mmm.
The show starts at 1930, but we arrive at around 1900. I wanted to have another look around the shop and chat some more to Max. We’re travelling for seven months, the smartest clothes I have are jeans and a jumper. I felt like I should have made more of an effort, but this is all I have. I made sure I did my hair.
Max made both Lois and I feel really welcome. We felt like his guests. He showed us around the theatre one more time, as it was set for a show and we were first to be seated.
The show was oversold, more people wanted to see it than there were enough seats for! Max ran around and mustered up some more seats and stools. The theatre was as full as it could be.
The show involved everyone in the audience in some way. Max has a great ability to adapt the show to suit the night’s audience. He did an awesome piece of coin magic for two children. They loved it!
I won’t spoil the show in anyway, you should check it out for yourself! Here’s Max’s promo video for the show.
Really impressed with all the staff I met, Max, the shop and the show.
I feel like I left the shop having made a great friend!
The only problem is that I then needed to drive 700 miles to Texas… In a day..