Building an abode of magic
In the year 2000, the Magic Circle got eight perches of land in Kala Pura, Attidiya, to put up a building for themselves arranged for them by the then Minister of Cultural Affairs Monty Gopallawa. That year, he gave them the Tower Hall Theatre free of charge for a concert. After watching their performance the minister went up on stage and announced the gift of the land. His father, (our first President, William Gopallawa), was patron of the Magic Circle in 1972. First recognised as a fine art in Sri Lanka in 1972, ‘white magic’ was re-accepted as a fine art, also in the year 2000.
That, said President of the Magic Circle Lt. Col. Ronald de Alwis, was a great boost to them. Soon however, monetary problems came up. They managed to collect Rs. 550,000 through the members, but lost four of the eight perches to the road. Architect Piyasiri Gettapola, vice president of the circle, agreed to do a plan free of charge.
Externally, the building on just four perches will depict symbols and apparatus employed by magicians, (see artist’s impression), such as the dice, pack of cards, the wand and of course the magician’s hat which will top the tower. It will have an auditorium on the first floor, a long felt lack in the circle, a recreation club house in the tower, and a library maintained since 1922. The Magic Circle’s archives will be carefully preserved in their new abode, de Alwis said.
The building, when completed, may cost around rupees 3.5 million. When the initial collection of money was over, friends of the circle have helped, and continue to help. Among others, L. H. Piyasena & Co., Ruhunu Cables Ltd. and Pali Wickramasinghe, Chairman of Ceylon Essence & Beverages Co. Ltd. have made substantial donations. The Magic Circle welcomes donations made to account number 618010000 6247 at the Bank of Ceylon (Metropolitan Branch), York Street or cheques sent to the Treasurer, Sri Lanka Magic Circle, 24/2, Jambugasmulla Road, Nugegoda.
The circle also welcomes donations of building materials such as cement, sand, metal, aluminium, glass and sanitary ware. They also welcome furniture, computers and curtaining, and even books on magic, drama and acting.
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