A Catalina Icon
The Catalina Casino has been the focal point of Santa Catalina Island entertainment and culture since it opened over eighty-four years ago on May 29, 1929. For nearly three generations, the Catalina Casino has been the venue of choice for great entertainers, Broadway productions, and first-run motion pictures.
About the Catalina Casino
Dominating the Avalon landscape from its regal perch at the edge of Avalon Bay, the casino exemplifies the style and romance of Catalina Island. Built under the direction of William Wrigley, Jr. at a cost of $2 million, the iconic building was designed by Sumner A. Spaulding and Walter Webber. The Casino was the first completely circular building of its time. Restored to its original condition, the Art Deco and Mediterranean Revival building is a stunning reminder of Catalina’s glorious past. The height of the building is equivalent to 12 stories. It offers a museum on the lower level, theatre on the main floor, a ballroom and a promenade on the upper floor. The 20,000 square foot ballroom can accommodate up to 1,500 dancers, and is the world’s largest circular ballroom without supporting pillars.
The Catalina Casino gets its name from the Italian language, where “casino” means a gathering place. There is no gambling at this facility. Rather, the massive twelve-story building is divided into a spectacular grand ballroom and movie theatre. It is also available for events and weddings.
Completely restored a few years ago, the ballroom retains its original romantic style -- a lavish medley of rose-hued walls, an arching, fifty-foot ceiling with five Tiffany-like chandeliers, an elevated stage, raised seating areas around the dance floor, and a vintage, full-service bar in back.
The movie theatre is also a masterpiece of art, with perfect acoustics and the original pipe organ built by the Page Pipe Company of Lima, Ohio. The theatre now runs first-run movies nightly.
The Casino hosts most of Catalina’s major indoor events, including the annual New Year’s Eve Celebration, Catalina Island Jazz Festival and Catalina Film Festival. Tours of the Catalina Casino are available daily unless a private event is being held.
The Catalina Casino Ballroom is available year round for private and corporate events, meetings, weddings and events.