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Catalina Island Entertainment
Overview of Entertainment
Catalina Island offers a variety of entertainment options for those seeking to engage the island beyond a sights/ activities level. The island caters to a variety of tastes. The bulk of the island’s entertainment can be found on Avalon through two ways. One is traveling to the island for one of its annual events (Flying Fish Festival, Catalina Island Film Festival) that attract large crowds and have a theme that is native to the island. The other form of entertainment is to spend a weekend on the island and enjoy the night life. The Marlin Club is the most popular dive bar that comes to life on Friday and Saturday nights with a good mix of locals and visitors (See below).
Flying Fish Festival
Catalina Island, with its location far enough from land in the Pacific is home to some of the best natural marine habitats in the world. Every year from May to September the “flying fish” make an appearance near the island. As the name suggests these fish fly out of the ocean at heights of up to 30 feet and a distance of up to ¼ of a mile. To commemorate the beginning of flying fish season Catalina Island hosts an annual “Flying Fish Festival.” In 2013 the dates of the Flying Fish Festival are May 30th to June 2nd. The festival includes a variety of events, stalls and street venues around Avalon to celebrate the event. These include sand building contests, street theaters, hands on aquatic lessons for kids as well as a food tastings. The day’s events culminate to the big evening event when boats carry visitors out to the night time Pacific beyond the island and flash flood lights on the water giving a spectacular view of the thousands of fish leaping out of the water along side the vessel.
Movie at Historic Avalon Theatre
Every evening at 7:30pm a movie plays at the Historic Avalon Theatre. Seating over 1,000 people and decorated with 1920s style Art deco murals, the Historic Avalon Theatre makes for a cool movie going environment visitors won’t find on the mainland. The cost is $15 and the film is usually a brand new release that is also playing on the main land.
Catalina Island Film Festival
Every September Catalina Island plays host to a film festival . Catalina Island being off the coast of Los Angeles has a long “Hollywood history” with countless movies shot on the island as well as dozens of celebrities who have spent time on Catalina looking for inspiration. The film festival seeks to celebrate all things Hollywood and Catalina’s film heritage. The festival features more than 75 independent films and hosts a variety of night time events as well.
The Marlin Club is centrally located in Avalon and has a history that goes back decades. First impressions are that this is a dive bar. Perhaps true but this dive bar has a lot of character and heart. Located adjacent to the Tour Plaza on Catalina Ave the club’s box shaped blued exterior can’t be missed. The bar itself is shaped like a boat and the bartending staff have been serving up what most describe as “very stiff” drinks for decades. Most of the clientele are either visitors (and these visitors are mostly from Southern California) or a set of die hard locals who have found a way to make a living or retire on Catalina Island. The pool table is always full of activity and the evenings tend to become livelier as the night wares on. This is one of the only night entertainment venue on the island so most people who arrive, and who are looking for a good time, typically stay.