Catalina Island Visitor Information
As well as a unique and beautifully-preserved ecosystem, Catalina Island offers a number of cultural institutions and events throughout the year. Whether you are a fan the fine and performing arts, seeking continuing education opportunities or are a history buff, Catalina Island has something to offer to you.
Broadcasting out of the nearby San Fernando Valley, JazzTrax Showcase of the Absolutely Newest is jazz music's answer to pop's Top Ten Countdown. Catalina’s annual JazzTrax Festival is a showcase for the top-rated performers of contemporary jazz from around the country. The Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival is held during the first three weekends of October.
For History Buffs
Housed in the Avalon Casino - itself an historically significant building - the Catalina Island Museum is a treasure of artifacts, displays, documents and exhibits covering virtually every aspect of this island's 7,000 year human history. Founded in 1953, the Museum is opened six hours a day, seven days a week during tourist season and six days a week during the winter months. Admission is a bargain at $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for kids; seniors get a 20% discount.
Enjoy Movies the Way They Were
Since it opened in 1929, Catalina's nearly 1200 seat movie theatre has continued to show the latest first-run Hollywood films. This theatre, also located inside the historic casino, has a huge theatre organ that was common in most old-time movie palaces, and is still played today. It is one of only four such instruments that survive. Periodically, the management shows silent films from the 1920s - which between the "Mighty Wurlitzer" (actually a Page) and the Art-Deco surroundings, gives patrons some idea of how their grandparents and great-grandparents enjoyed the movies of a young Hollywood.
What You Won't Find
It should be noted that the Avalon Casino does not in fact offer casino gambling, nor has it ever. The word here simply refers to a public gathering place.