SCRANTON — Phil Crosson spent Friday morning unpacking all the tools of his trade: top hats, magic wands, playing cards.
Stuff he usually took on the road with his magic show, but when he got sick of the travelling, he started looking for a new home and a new business venture.
Crosson hopes to bring the audience to him, inside what appears to be a typical store front at The Mall at Steamtown. He calls it The ClazMagic Theatre. He will do magic shows a few times a week, teach lessons, and sell magician’s supplies.
The mall and magic isn’t a typical partnership, but The Mall at Steamtown works for Crosson.
“Because of the eclectic nature of it, the fact that it’s like a community within a community, so I thought that this would be a very nice fit,” Crosson said.
Crosson said he never expected to bring his show to a shopping mall, but he said The Mall at Steamtown is just as unconventional as he is.
Elsewhere in the mall you’ll find a library, a post office, a miniature train display, a children’s museum, and a place to pay your cable bill.
“The shopping mall has evolved over the years from purely a retail environment, but don’t get me wrong we want people to come in and spend money. But, the reality is that it becomes a town center, it becomes a gathering place for people,” said the mall’s Vice President and General Manager Roger O’Dell.
O’Dell said, though unconventional, store fronts like Crosson’s are helping The Mall at Steamtown stand out amongst growing competition.
“It brings the kids in, it brings the families in, they’ll see a magic show, after that hopefully they’ll go elsewhere and shop in the center. It’s that simple,” added O’Dell.