Catalina Casino Building


The Catalina Island Casino Building is perhaps one of the most beautiful and recognizable buildings in all of the United States. It is simply breathtaking and has a wonderful rich history.

There is actually no gambling in the Casino Building, nor has there ever been! Casino is an Italian word meaning "gathering place." William Wrigley Jr. commissioned the construction of Catalina Casino in 1929 to mark the 10-year anniversary of his 1919 purchase of Catalina Island. Nearly 90 years later, this 11-story icon stands as a reminder to Catalina’s historic beginnings as a romantic escape for the millions who made the 26-mile trip across the sea to enjoy a movie, dinner and dancing during the Casino’s early days as the hub of Avalon nightlife.
 
Today, Catalina Casino hosts three walking tours—Discover the Casino, Behind the Scenes Casino and Twilight at the Casino. Each offers a unique perspective of this art deco masterpiece, from the first theatre in America designed and built specifically for “talkies” on the lower level, to the world’s largest circular ballroom on the top level, where as many as 6,000 dancers once twirled to the sounds of big band music.
 
Avalon Theatre shows first-run movies nightly at 7:30 pm. If you arrive an hour early on Friday and Saturday, you can hear a performance on the theatre’s original 1929 Page Pipe Organ. The magnificent ballroom, which has also been restored, continues to host major events, including the annual New Year’s Eve Celebration, Catalina Conservancy Ball and Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival. The Casino ballroom is available year round for weddings, private celebrations and corporate events.

There are a variety of tours available of the Catalina Casino Building, including Twilight at the Casino, Discover the Casino, Catalina Island Casino Movie Theatre and the Behind the Scenes Casino Tour. In our opinion, the Behind the Scenes Casino Tour is the most fascinating! Learn about the gorgeous wood that adorns the inside of the building, find out Marilyn Monroe's tie to this historic building, and learn how something inside the current movie theatre actually was supposed to be destined for the famed Chinese Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles! For additional information on tours, call (800) 626-1496 or visit www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/catalina-casino for additional information.

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