InsideMagic Favorite The Houdini Museum in Scranton launches its newest venture with a big social media boom. Dick Brookz and the lovely Dorothy Dietrich not only run the Nation’s finest Houdini Museum, but have now announced brought to life their vision for a board game called Houdini Opoly. Mr. Brookz says he and museum co-operator Dorothy Dietrich came up with the idea about two years ago based on the museum’s popular tours. “We go through Houdini’s life in a circle from beginning to end. Well guess what, that’s how a board game works.”
Like the other “opoloy” sounding boardgame based on ancient New Jersey shore, the Houdini Opoly features game board property is a place significant to Houdini’s life ranging from his birthplace in Budapest, Hungary to his burial place in New York City. There are even two northeastern Pennsylvania in the game: One is Welsh Brothers Circus where he found his most steady work in the 19th century. The other, the Houdini museum in Scranton. Yay!
Where can one get ‘Houdini Opoly’ you ask? Well, Mr. Brookz and Ms. Dietrich launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the board game. While the goal for game players is to accumulate as many Houdini properties as possible using game pieces, dice and deeds, Mr. Brookz says he and Ms. Dietrich are striving for something much more. “The goal of the game is to get Houdini in people’s houses around the world. The goal of the game is to create a collectible.”
The magic couple think Houdini would have loved the game. “I think he’d be all for it because he loved publicity,” said Mr. Brookz who added that the Kickstarter goal is to reach at least $8,000 to produce upwards of 1,000 editions of ‘Houdini Opoly’. Click here to learn more about the campaign.
Click here to Inside Magic’s Favorite Houdini Museum in the world! www.houdini.org
Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz recently uncovered Houdini’s long lost film The Grim Game are in Hollywood as special guests of Turner Classic Movies to introduce the world premiere of the film.
Those in the know consider The Grim Game the best of Houdini’s five feature films but it has not been seen by the public for more than 96 years. Thanks to Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz, the film will be featured as part of the finale of the TCM Film Festival, March 29.
After the Hollywood showing, it will be exhibited at The Directors Guild in New York City and then in Scranton, Pennsylvania – the home of the incredible Houdini Museum. Turner Classic Movies intends to broadcast the film on their cable channel later in the year.
The Hollywood tour will begin on March 24 at 10 AM in front of the Hollywood Heritage Museum at 2100 Highland Ave. The museum was once part of the Famous Players-Lasky Studio where Houdini made The Grim Game. Dorothy Dietrich will perform magic for those in attendance and then she and Mr. Brookz will join John Cox for a private Hollywood tour. Mr. Cox is the host of the most important Houdini website in the universe, Wild About Harry.
The Houdini Museum has the largest and only continuing traveling exhibit on Houdini, “Houdini Road Show,” that has finally all come back from being on display at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino in West Palm Beach.
Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Dick Brookz are also currently starring in Psychic Theater’s Haunted Seance! The show is the longest running performance of its kind in history – more than 10 years at the Houdini Museum Theater.
Visit The Houdini Museum at http://www.houdini.org.
We wrote last week of Turner Classic Movies’ plans to present Houdini’s film The Grim Game. It was a major find and we knew there had to be more to the story. Fortunately, Inside Magic Favorite magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz, from the Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, wrote to fill us in. By the way, we heard that Ms. Dietrich was just elected President of Assembly 160 of the Society of American Magicians for Scranton. Congratulations to an outstanding performer and great person.
Houdini made the film in 1919 but it was considered lost until recently. Mr. Brookz writes that the “only complete copy of the film was hidden in the collection of juggler Larry Weeks who got it from Houdini’s wife after Houdini died. I have known Larry since I was in my early teens. Larry trusted us and knew we would never do anything that was not in his best interest. He knew with us involved it would be done in a proper way to protect his legacy. We even put together and host his web site” http://larryweeks.info.”
Mr. Brookz said the juggler had a different perspective on his keeping the film out of circulation. “Over the years Larry invited us to see the film on two occasions. He found it odd and incomprehensible when I told him that some magicians berated him for hoarding the movie that he preserved over the years at great personal cost.”
Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz brought in their well-connect friend, Rick Schmidlin, to work as a go-between with Mr. Weeks and TCM. Mr. Weeks passed away on October 13, 2014.
The restored film will have an musical score composed by Brane Zivkovic an award winning film, television, and theatre composer. This was all done with financial help from Turner Classic Movies, who will premiere it at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival held Thursday, March 26 – Sunday, March 29, 2015, in Hollywood.
“We are so proud to have accomplished this,” said Ms. Dietrich. “To know that essentially every magician in the world big and small, will get the thrill of viewing this wonderful Houdini movie because of us. This includes future magicians for all time, as well as millions of non-magicians. It was our goal to get this to someone who would release it to the public and not hoard in their cellar or a back room somewhere.”
We owe Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz for their work in bringing this classic back. If you have not visited The Houdini Museum, you need to make plans to do so immediately. It is a wonderful experience, expertly presented by Ms. Dietrich and Mr. Brookz. Visit their incredible site here: houdini.org