magic island

Magical Houston club conjures up improbable comeback

Magical Houston club conjures up improbable comeback

Magic Island head
One of Houston's most recognizable spaces is being re-imagined.  Photo courtesy of ABC13

It's one of Houston's most well-known landmarks, left abandoned for years. But now, Magic Island will cast a new spell. 

Known for its giant pharaoh's head rising just above the Southwest Freeway, Magic Island has sat vacant since a 2008 fire caused by Hurricane Ike.

"Magic Island has been asleep for about 10 years," explains architect Russell King. "It was pretty much destroyed in the hurricane. So it sat here and it's in pretty bad shape. But everybody realizes if we're going to do it, let's do it right, and it's going to be brought back bigger and better than ever."

The legendary private dinner theater club will be reimagined. King says the new-look Magic Island will focus on first-class entertainment and dining at its finest: "The motif is still the magic of ancient Egypt but not quite as circusy as it was," he said. "[It will be] a much more sophisticated type of design."

Some of the changes expected for the entertainment venue include a large outdoor terrace, as well as Las-Vegas-style magic shows in an indoor theater that seats up to 150 people. 

"It's a new Magic Island. But it's the same Magic Island. We're keeping a lot of the old stuff so you can recognize it when you walk in, but it's not quite the same," says business manager Sue Smith.

Owners say they are aiming to re-open by November 15, but have already begun taking party reservations.

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