The 49 Boxes
The 49 Boxes is, first and foremost, a love letter to the history of early 20th century illusions and the artists whose skill and ingenuity cemented magic as one of entertainment’s most enduring forms.
- Portable experience with multiple Los Angeles and San Francisco events.
- Community oriented experience with collaborative themes
- Utilizes a diverse catalog of ingenious tricks and original inventions to delight and amaze
- Narratively-driven show that involves completing puzzles and working with strangers to solve the mystery.
- Non-horror; no contact
In this event, a room full of strangers will work together to solve a series of mysteries—but they will need to interact with other groups, and as they uncover the story, the true magic of the boxes will be revealed.
More on The 49 Boxes
The 49 Boxes is a social, story-driven experience where audiences interact with incredible artifacts to solve mysteries that have been kept secret for more than half a century.
This isn’t an experience that happens around you… it happens because of you.
While each event’s narrative may be different, each event details the work of a Grand Master of Magic. One such event centered around Mr. Floyd G. Thayer, who in the 1920’s and 30’s provided working magicians across the country with a diverse catalogue of ingenious tricks and original inventions designed to delight and amaze. Upon his death, Thayer left his closest friends a collection of 49 boxes, each containing a unique and indispensable artifact that, when brought together through cooperation and curiosity, would lead the magicians on a night of magical exploration. These boxes, however, remained unexplored for over half a century, waiting for you and one hundred of your closest aspiring magician friends to solve the secrets and riddles that will lead to the grand moment: the unlocking of Thayer’s final box, sealed with nineteen unique padlocks protecting the magician’s mysterious treasure, whatever it may be.
The historical context and framing device aside, 49 Boxes is less of a story-driven show than it is a raucous, fully interactive bazaar where participants are invited to play hands-on with authentic antiques from the golden age of magic. Every table is furnished with several boxes, the contents of which should eventually add up to a single complex, self-contained illusion.
The focus here is not the puzzles—this isn’t an escape room and there is no time limit—but rather, on the artifacts you interact with. Many of the items that guests will use belonged to Thayer himself and were actually created in the early 1900’s. Borys explains, “I never wanted to hide these beautiful objects behind museum glass; I want people to be able to touch and appreciate them firsthand.” These museum pieces are all purposefully selected by Michael Borys and his creative partner Alex Lieu: from flea markets, donated by friends and fans alike, or purchased from magic collectors and historians. Each item either feels authentic—or is authentic—and comes together with the rest of the collection expertly to immerse audiences in this world. And it’s this attention to detail that really makes this experience shine.
Any more of a reveal would be a disservice to the actual experience. The 49 Boxes is not just an immersive evening, a magic show, an engaging game of puzzles and intrigue, but rather, it is a passion project from a man who has fallen in love with magic and the stories behind it.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR 49 BOXES