Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Catalina Island CA: The Casino
Catalina Island CA: The Casino PDF Print E-mail

Catalina casino

Originally called the Sugarloaf Casino, the Art Deco building on Catalina’s beach side town of Avalon went up in 1929. Originally owned by the Wrigley (chewing gum) family, despite the name, the Casino has never been an actual gambling hall.

It was first an early talkies movie house, vaudeville theater, concert venue and, on the second level, a dance hall. In the 1930s and 1940s, live radio broadcasts were beamed throughout America from the Casino. They featured music from Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Harry James and other famed bands of the era.

Today, the Casino continues to show first-run movies on its first level, while on the insulated floor above, concerts and dances offer a variety of entertainment. Many social, music and art events are scheduled at the Casino throughout the year.

As the old song goes, Catalina Island is 26 miles across the seas from Long Beach CA, a 15-minute flight or 60-minute ferry ride. The island was a famous destination for John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin and other movie stars of the 1930s through the 1950s, who often sailed their yachts from the California coast to Avalon. In 1981, actress Natalie Wood lost her life when she fell from a yacht into the harbor.

The average Catalina daytime weather temperature is 60 degrees in winter months, and 75 degrees in summer. For more information, go to www.catalinachamber.com/island/specialevents

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