Business of the week: Clerkenwell’s International Magic Shop showing no signs of disappearing

The international magic shop in Clerkenwell Road.

The international magic shop in Clerkenwell Road. - Credit: Archant

Each week, we profile a company doing business here in Islington. This week, we step inside Clerkenwell Road’s International Magic Shop, where fortunately no one saws us in half.

Clerkenwell’s International Magic Shop has been open for more than 55 years, but the boss insists there’s no great secret to its success.

Opened in 1961 by award-winning magician Ron MacMillan, an EastEnder, the shop is now run by his son Martin. Over the years everyone from Tommy Cooper to Dynamo have dropped in to visit, and the shop is now seen as something of a tourist attraction.

“It’s changed in all sorts of ways,” said Martin. “There used to be a lot of specialist shops but unfortunately they have gone.

“I think we’ve survived because it’s a family business – it’s a passion rather than profit-driven. And we still have people coming in who first visited when they were kids. Magic was harder to get into in the ’60s. You had to make the effort.

“Now you can do it in your living room on the internet. A lot more children are into it. But there’s a difference between learning a trick and learning magic.”