From its regal setting at the north end of Avalon Harbor, this dramatic circular building has stood as a welcoming sentinel since just before the Great Depression. The impressive Art Deco masterpiece was the dream of by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., who bought controlling interest of Catalina Island in 1919. Wrigley saw the casino as a way of casting a magical spell on all who arrived—a way of seeming to say, “look, here is beauty, relaxation, and fun,” and a way to—for at least a little while—escape the country’s troubled times.
"Wrigley saw the casino as a way of casting a magical spell on all who arrived"
Inside, Wrigley hosted lavish dances and performances. Today, the tradition continues, as the elaborate ballroom is home to several annual events. One of the two guided walking tours is a must, where you will learn about the building, Avalon’s history and Hollywood connection. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour lets you peek into dressing rooms that had been closed for 70 years, and to walk on the stage where famed musicians like Benny Goodman played to adoring fans.