The world and illusions and magic has intrigued many for centuries. Masters of the craft defy logic yet we hunger for more. Here in Toronto there is a new immersive exhibition and experience that has finally opened its doors. Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium invites you to step into a magical world full of wonder that will leave you in awe.
World renowned British high-tech illusionist Jamie Allan and LightHouse Immersive (the producers of the Immersive Van Gogh Experience) has created a labyrinth of magical spaces transporting visitors through the evolution of wonder and amazements.
The guided experience is suitable for all ages. As visitors are lead through the halls and spaces jaws drop, gasps are heard and squeals of delight and laughter fill the corridors. It’s as though a magical time-capsule has been unearthed and revealed. But not just revealed but the details are not to be overlooked.
Beginning with an overview of some of the most famous and most influential magicians and illusionists of all time. Here, visitors learn about the masters of the craft including David Devant from the 1800s who trademark phrase was “All done by kindness” and was president of The Magic Circle – the world’s most prestigious magic society founded in 1905.
Of course there was Harry Houdini, the Hungarian illusionist and escapologist who’s radical and outrageous skills continue to be some of the most death-defying and dangerous thrills ever witnessed. You’ll find one of his straight-jackets on display in the exhibition as well.
Canadian magician Doug Henning (oh, yeah, remember him?) is featured as is one of the most famous women in the realm, Adelaide Herrmann who carries the title of “The Queen of Magic”. David Copperfield and his piercing eyes and theatrical antics is also featured here as well as the comical Vegas and television famed duo, Penn & Teller.
Visitors are lead through hallways and rooms to explore and experience a timeline with an incredible collection of reproductions and vintage show posters and props lining the way — some, we are told, are from Jamie Allan’s personal collection.
Enter magical spaces brought to life with state-of-the-art technology including The Palais Royale and the Egyptian Hall where a real live magician transports you back in time and delights with some of the most iconic and most beloved “tricks” — levitations anyone? But don’t think it’s all hocus pocus from years past, this exhibition also shows how illusionists continue to move forward as a craft and profession.
Penn & Teller had us scratching on heads with their interactive magic trick with visitors even though their card trick presentation was pre-recorded and transmitted through television screens. It was a HOW DID THEY DO THAT? moment.
There’s a Secret Chamber that is the most nail-biting of all. We are told that not everyone will have a chance to experience this particular room and we can understand why. What happens here is a little too close for comfort but as close as you’ll ever get to seeing something that can’t be unseen. Let’s just leave it at that.
Visitors can also opt for a VIP experience that is a real treat. This very intimate (up to 12 people at a time) room offers an even closer look (but socially distanced) at a live “slight of hand” performance that’s fun and inspiring for the curious minds.
One last thing Jamie Allan wants us to know is this…
“We are not holding secrets from you, we are holding secrets for you.”
When you do go, try not to give it all away and keep the magic for others to experience. We purposely didn’t take many photos for this reason.
Lighthouse Immersive and Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium: Where the Magic Happens is located at One Yonge Street (Toronto Star building) with the entrance on Queens Quay. Tickets are on sale now. Social distancing and health protocol all in accordance with current guidelines.