Photo: Visible from the exterior of Catalina Casino are murals of mermaids and the sea. You can see them on your trip to Avalon, along with many unique island murals in public places throughout Catalina Island.
There are several icons to Catalina Island but the best known is Catalina Casino. In addition to hosting an annual New Year’s Gala in the grand ballroom, and offering movie showings in the theater, daily tours guide visitors through this amazing building that you see upon arrival to Catalina Island. Opened in 1927, the Casino hosted nearly every known band of the Big Band Era. It was THE place to go to see and experience great jazz and swing music. Catalina Casino was never a gambling facility but took its name from the Italian term, casino, which means a gathering place. The 12-story building includes beautiful wood murals, lighting, and expansive views of Avalon Bay from ballroom verandas. It is available for hosting special events.
Relive the Golden Days, a 70 minute tour offered year-round at 12:30 p.m. Call: (800) 626-1496. Tickets sold at Discovery Tours, Pavilion Hotel and Hotel Atwater. Reservations recommended. Approx. tour price: Adult $32, Senior $28, Child $24
Step back in time 70 years to put yourself in the footsteps of the performers and crew who made the Casino one of the most exciting places on earth. Focusing on the cultural history of the building, this tour brings you unprecedented access to backstage areas that very few people are allowed to see such as green rooms used by Errol Flynn and Cary Grant. Walk across the stage where Benny Goodman played before thousands of fans, and see the editing room where Cecil B. DeMille viewed the “rushes” of movie shoots.