CIVR Blog: Avalon Theatre

Photo courtesy Santa Catalina Island Company

Photo courtesy Santa Catalina Island Company

Island life is different from life on the mainland in many ways. Catalina Island residents are surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and a relaxed sense of pace that few take for granted.

Another aspect of island that no one ever takes for granted is going to the movies. Catalina Island has only one movie theatre and one movie a week, which shows nightly. While many residents might at times miss the selection of movies available on the mainland, none would exchange the theatre itself for that selection.

Catalina Island’s movie theatre is the Avalon Theatre, a spectacular circular space that composes the lower floors of the Catalina Casino. With fantastical art deco murals by the celebrated artist John Gabriel Beckman, the theatre is an awe-inspiring space no matter what is on the screen. Twinkling lights evocative of stars and a crowning fresco of the Birth of Venus, add to the drama as do art deco tragedy and comedy masks over each doorway. Built in 1929, the Avalon Theatre was one of the first movie theatres to be built for the then-innovative technology of movie sound.

Today, the Avalon Theatre stands as testament to the glamour and artistry of a bygone era. It is a must-see part of the Catalina Island experience – whether you live here for a lifetime or visit for a weekend.

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