The Catalina Casino
Standing tall and proud on the shoulder of Catalina Island marking the edge of Avalon sits the Catalina Casino. A perfectly pretty structure on the corner of the harbor that stands an impressive 11 stories high with a glamorous ballroom, breathtaking views, incredible foods and working movie theater; the Catalina Casino has been a destination for romantic escapes and fun for couples for generations.
What is The Catalina Casino?
Before you enter with the tour, your guide will be quick to inform you that in Italian, ‘Casino’ means “Gathering Place”. So there is actually no gambling at this casino at all.
In fact, this casino was actually built as the very first theater for sound motion pictures! William Wrigley Jr. commissioned this building on the 10-year anniversary of his purchase of the island. He bought the island as a place for his Chicago Cubs team to practice baseball during the off season and quickly realized the paradise that it is. Wanting to create a special place for celebrations and entertaining and owning this island for 10 years, construction on the ‘Casino’ began. It was quickly built and opened in May 29, 1929.
A gorgeous circular ballroom hosting up to 6,000 people was built on the top floor above a magnificent theater, the first one in the USA to be designed specifically for sound motion pictures with a Page Pipe Organ. The building is incredible! It also served as the first high school for several years. Graduation for all seniors on Catalina Island today still takes place every spring at the Catalina Casino!!
Is The Catalina Casino still in use today?
Yes! The ballroom is available for private party rentals and can seat up to 6,000 guests. With coat rooms, a stage and screening area, powder rooms, several bar areas and a circular balcony with amazing views from every angle, this is an iconic ballroom that is the perfect setting for any type of celebration.
They also host several balls throughout the year that are open to the public, you can see that schedule here.
Tours are going on daily and every night a new release film plays at 7:30pm. It was really fun checking this place out and I so wish we had had time to take in a movie here, it looked like such a cool experience!
Taking the tour of the Catalina Casino is fascinating. There is so much history here. The art and architecture are unique and well worth visiting. Check here to book your tickets and get your vacation to Catalina Island started today!
Don’t you want to see this view for yourself?
Cheers and Safe Travels!!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx