I am finally going to get to meet two Houdini icons, Dorothy Dietrich (far left) & Dick Brookz (far right), when they come to Hollywood. I look forward to meeting them at a Houdini “Nuts” gathering, as well as seeing them at the screening of the Grim Game.
Read the Houdini Museum Press Release below for the details of their visit. This is going to be an historic event.
Houdini Museum Directors Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz to Tour Hollywood’s Houdini Sites on Houdini’s 141st Birthday March 24.
Celebrity magicians, Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz, who recently uncovered Houdini’s long lost film “The Grim Game” are in Hollywood as special guests of Turner Classic Movies to introduce the world premier of what is reputed Houdini’s best film of the five he made. “The Grim Game” will be featured as part of the finale of the TCM Film Festival, March 29. The film has not been seen by the general public for over 96 years. It will then be shown at The Directors Guild in New York City, in Scranton, PA home of The Houdini Museum, the only building in the world dedicated to Houdini and later on The Turner Classic Movies Network.
Their Hollywood tour will begin on March 24 at 10 AM in front of the Hollywood Heritage Museum at 2100 Highland Ave, LA which was once part of the Famous Players-Lasky Studio where Houdini made “The Grim Game”. Dorothy Dietrich will perform some magic from her bag of tricks for passers by. Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz will then be escorted on a private Hollywood tour conducted by Houdini historian John Cox, host of the internet’s Wild About Houdini. It is the internet’s most popular Houdini web site, started in 2010 and boasts an amazing 3,025,853 page views and rising.
Houdini’s “The Grim Game” was the find of a lifetime. Only ten percent of old silent films still exist due to their inflammatory nature. A year ago film historian Rick Schmidlin, who’s mother lived in Scranton, PA, dropped in on long time friends and magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz at their Houdini Museum on one of his visits. The Houdini Museum, was founded 26 years ago in Scranton, PA, and is the only building in the world dedicated to Houdini. The only copy of the film “The Grim Game” was hidden in the collection of entertainer Larry Weeks in Brooklyn, NY who had shown them the movie over the years on two occasions. They decided to let Schmidlin in on the whereabouts of the rare film. He was bowled over and elated. The magicians took several weeks to convince the collector to meet with Schmidlin, who had contacted Turner Classic Movies. TCM agreed to back the project. Larry Weeks agreed to part with the movie and have it restored. Weeks was 95 and died just 4 months later. http://houdini.org/houdinigrimgameuncoveredbyhoudinimuseum.html
The Houdini Museum located in Scranton, PA (http://houdini.org). It is run by well known professional magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz. The Houdini Museum has taken on the responsibility of taking care of the abandoned Houdini Grave site and recently replaced Houdini’s missing bust that was destroyed 40 years ago by vandals.
Dorothy Dietrich (http://dorothydietrich.com) is considered the leading female magician and escape artist in the world having been called “the First Lady of Magic,” and “The Female Houdini.” She has appeared in countless Television specials including “You Asked For It”, a Bill Cosby Special, Montel Williams, “The Tomorrow Show”, “Atlantic City Alive”, “Just For The Record, the Best Of Everything”, “Evening Magazine”. etc. She was Special Guest Star in HBO’s “The World’s Greatest Escapes,” costarring movie legend Tony Curtis, in which she escaped hanging from the bottom of a parachute ride hundreds of feet in the air while hanging from a single piece of rope that was set on fire. She is also the only women in history to accomplish The Jinxed Bullet Catch in the mouth, the one stunt Houdini backed out of. The stunt has killed over 13 men and injured many others. This stunt was done at Resorts International Casino in Atlantic City. Both stand as world records to this day. When not doing crazy stunts such as these she travels with a magic show that features doves, a duck, a rabbit and two pet poodles. When in her home town of Scranton she appears on a regular basis on stage of The Houdini Museum.
John Cox is a Houdini Historian who runs the popular blog WILD ABOUT HARRY (wildabouthoudini.com). John creates original content, links to the works of others, and exploits the power of social media to spread the word of Houdini far and wide. As a teen, John dabbled in escape and performance magic and wrote articles about Houdini for his school newspapers. After graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he became a professional screenwriter, penning projects for MGM, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, ABC, USA, and the WB networks. John appeared in the 1998 documentary, Houdini Exposed, and gives a lecture called “Houdini in Hollywood”, which has been featured the Hollywood Heritage Museum and the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. His personal collection of Houdini memorabilia includes books, photos, letters, and publicity material, topping out at over 5000 individual items.
Dick Brookz (http://dickbrookz.com) has been a professional magician his entire life. He has fronted for Bobby Darin, Jack Jones, Neil Sedaka at performed at such venues as #1 Fifth Ave, The Rainbow Grill, The Americana Hotel and Casino in Puerto Rico, Aruba Hotel and Casino, etc.
Places on Houdini history tour (A story in itself)
Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, CA, which holds the final resting places of Walt Disney, Mary Pickford, Clark Gable, Michael Jackson, and other celebrities and notables. Ronald Reagan married Jane Wyman in a chapel there in 1940. As a teenager in 1889 Houdini’s first show business partner Jacob Hyman suggested the then Ehrich Weiss to change his name to Houdini in honor of then famous French magician Robert Houdin. Also buried there is his brother Joe another early partner. Joe went on to become a famous vaudeville comedian who had the first comedy record to sell a million copies.
Los Angeles Examiner Building, 1111 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA where Houdini performed an outdoor suspended straitjacket escape April 5, 1923.
The old Orpheum Theater at 630 South Broadway that is now called the Palace Theater. It was at the Los Angeles Orpheum where Houdini had his famous verbal joust with heavyweight boxing champ Jess Willard in 1915. This was Orpheum’s home during the Golden Age of Vaudeville. It not only saw performances by Houdini (in 1915 and 1923) but also Al Jolson, Sarah Bernhardt, the Marx Brothers, W.C Fields and Will Rogers. It is the oldest remaining Orpheum theater in the United States.
Laurel Canyon – 2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd. – Houdini lived there when he made The Grim Game.
The former “First Spiritualist Church of Los Angeles.” 906 E 23rd Street, Los Angeles, CA Houdini took a photo that produced a strange streak of light that he couldn’t explain, the only spirit-related phenomena that stumped Houdini.
Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel on Ivar Street off Hollywood Blvd where Bess Houdini held the famous 1936 “Final Houdini Seance” ten years after Houdini’s death.
Hollywood Forever, a famous old cemetery in the heart of Hollywood which holds Valentino, Cecile B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. & Jr, and many other stars from Hollywood’s early days and of Edward Saint. Saint was the business manager and companion of Bess Houdini in her later years, who tirelessly promoted Houdini’s legacy that survives today.
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 exhibit at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino in West Palm Beach.
Museum co-directors considered leading mystery entertainers Dick Brookz and Dorothy Dietrich are also currently starring in Psychic Theater’s “Haunted Seance!” It is the longest running performance of it’s kind in history. It’s been running evenings for 10 years at the Houdini Museum Theater. (http://PsychicTheater.com)