The Casino on Catalina Island is home to dances, movies and tours

The Casino on Catalina Island is one of Southern California’s most distinctive landmarks. With its classic Moorish architecture and red-tile roof, the building has been a fixture in postcards, photographs and paintings for more than a century. For tens of thousands of visitors and thousands of Catalina Island residents, its looming presence is an immediate indicator of Avalon.

While tours and movies happen every day in the Casino Building, attending a dance on the top floor – the Casino Ballroom – is one of the best ways to experience this icon. Its massive circular ballroom was designed for dancing, with layers of cork beneath the hardwood cushioning couples for generations.

Two upcoming events provide an opportunity to experience the Casino Ballroom in the way it was intended.

On April 9, the Conservancy Ball will bring hundreds of dancers to the ballroom, all in support of the Catalina Conservancy, the organization responsible for preserving more than 90 percent of the island in perpetuity.

May 14 will see the past come alive at the Avalon Ball, presented by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. A celebration of the grandeur of the 1920s and 1930s, the event will feature costumed dancers and a full orchestra.