Night view of Avalon Bay, with the Casino shining brightly in the background, Catalina Island, 1957

Night view of Avalon Bay, with the Casino shining brightly in the background, Catalina Island, 1957Santa Catalina Island—more commonly known among Angelenos as Catalina Island, or simply ‘Catalina’—is a picturesque island 22 miles off Long Beach. For Southern Californians, Catalina is chiefly a weekend getaway destination where you can enjoy the beach, the diving, hiking, and shopping. I’ve been there several times, but never seen it quite like this, glowing in the night. Much of the Catalina we know today — including the gorgeous Catalina Casino which opened on May 29, 1929 — was brought about by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. The Casino is that circular building in the top right of this photo, taken in 1957.

Here’s a view of Avalon’s main shopping street taken about the same time.

Catalina Island (1956)And Catalina Airport (you wouldn’t want to overrun the landing strip!)

Catalina Island airport

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