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9th Annual Soapy Smith Night Photos


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The 9th Annual Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle, held on July 8, 2012, was a great success! We had 420 attendees, and raised $2,520 for the Vernon Fund!

Thanks, everyone!

For nine years, the Magic Castle has celebrated the famous gunfight on the wharf at Skagway, Alaska on July 8, 1898, when the great Soapy Smith, the King of the Frontier Conmen, and the finest exponent of the Shell Game thet ever lived, was gunned down and his gang of 100 con men who had ruled the entry to the Gold Rush from its inception were arrested or scattered.

At the Magic Castle, we have a wonderful party each year to celebrate the memory of this clever bad man. We turn the place into a Gold Rush era saloon, with antique gambling tables for Chuck a Luck, Faro, Black Jack, and Roulette, along with all sorts of other games like the Shell Game, Three-Card Monte and Fast and Loose. There are prizes for the best dealer and most successful player. We have a costume contest as well. Everyone dresses up in 1890’s attire, and there are prizes for the most authentic, funniest, and sexiest costumes. We have a toast to Soapy’s ghost, and live Old Time music provided by Professor Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show Band.  Chef Anton, the two-time national trick shot champion at pool, presents his incredible demonstration of billiards wizardry. We have a live auction, presided over by professional auctioneer and wonderful magician/vaudevillian, Rob Zabrecky.

It is one of the most fun nights  of the year at the Magic Castle.

Pop Haydn tells the story of Gold Rush Madame, Diamond Lil


Pop Haydn tells the story of legendary Gold Rush madame Diamond Lil. Diamond Lil would make $1000 a night for sleeping with a man, and had a large diamond in her front tooth. She made a fortune in Alaska.

From the Monday Night Tease “Gold Rush Follies” at 3 Clubs, Hollywood. May, 2012.

Photos of Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle


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Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle in Hollywood this year will be on Sunday, July 8th, beginning at 6:00 pm.

It is a costume party celebrating the gunfight at the wharf in Skagway, Alaska on July 8, 1898 during the height of the Gold Rush in which Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith was killed.

Soapy Smith was the con man and gangster that ran the town of Skagway with his gang of 100 trained con men and hustlers. He had the fix in with the law and the government of Alaska, and stripped almost everyone going into or out of Skagway with some kind of scheme or other. He had previously controlled Denver and then Creede, Colorado during the Silver Rush of the 1880’s.

After his death, members of his gang later scattered around the country, and included famous playwright and aphorist Wilson Mizner, Alexander Pantages who founded the Pantages theater chain, and Alexander “The Man Who Knows” Conlin who made over twenty million dollars as a fake psychic in vaudeville.

We have live Old Time Music by Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show band, a trickshot demonstration by 2 time world champion Chef Anton, a toast by great-grandson Jeff Smith and family, and gambling at old time gambling games like Faro and Chuck a Luck on antique equipment provided by Phil Gessert of Tombstone, Arizona. Nick Lewin will demonstrate his amazing linking finger ring routine, and John Reynolds will demonstrate bi-labial fricatation.

There will also be three-card monte, shell game, lotteries and other swindles designed to take your Soapy Money all around the Castle.

People dress up in Gay Nineties, Old West, Gold Rush and Steampunk attire for the event. There are prizes for most authentic, sexiest, and funniest costumes.

Proceeds of the event go to the Vernon Fund.

Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle July 8th


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