Arguably the most famous landmark on Catalina Island, the Casino building has welcomed everyone to Avalon from its spot on the right side of Avalon Bay since 1929. A common misconception for those visiting the Island for the first time is that the Casino is a gambling casino, but it is not. Casino is an Italian word meaning place of entertainment or gathering, and it certainly lives up to that role!
For those of us who grew up on Catalina, we associate the Casino with going to the movies, graduation ceremonies, concerts and special occasions. Since we are used to seeing its beauty every day, we often forget how unique and historic this landmark is. With summer in full swing and visitors curious to know the local history and supernatural mystery surrounding the building, we are reminded how truly special it is and are eager to share our own stories and experiences.
The architecture of the Casino is breathtaking, both outside and inside. The massive building houses the recently remodeled Catalina Island Museum, the Avalon Theatre and the world famous Casino Ballroom. If you aren’t able to go on a tour of the building during your stay or attend an event in the Ballroom, be sure to stop by the Catalina Island Museum on the ground floor or catch the latest feature film showing nightly in the Theatre—it is sure to be the grandest movie-going experience you will have had in a while, if ever.