Casino is Italian for Gathering Place. No Gambling Here!
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. More information is available on our Meetings and Events page.