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Fodor's Southern California 2014
On the northwest point of Avalon Bay (looking to your right from Green Pleasure Pier) is the majestic landmark Casino. This circular white structure is one of the finest examples of art deco architecture anywhere. Its Spanish-inspired floors and murals gleam with brilliant blue and green Catalina tiles. In this case, casino, the Italian word for "gathering place," has nothing to do with gambling. Rather, Casino life revolves around the magnificent ballroom and equally impressive 1,184-seat movie theater.
Santa Catalina Island Company leads two tours of the Casino—the basic tour ($10), and the behind-the-scenes tour ($32.75), which leads visitors through the green room and into the Wrigleys' private lounge and includes entrance to the quaint Catalina Island Museum, in the lower level of the Casino; each lasts about 55 minutes. Museum exhibits chronicle 7,000 years of island history. First-run movies are screened nightly at the Avalon Theatre, noteworthy for its classic 1929 theater pipe organ and art deco wall murals.
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