Catalina Casino

The Catalina Casino in Avalon Bay in California is designed by Sumner A. Spaulding and Walter Weber, in an Art-Deco, Mediterranean Revival style in the 1920’s. It isn’t an actual casino, there is no gambling going on in this high building, Inside the Catalina Casino you’ll find the Avalon theater which was built to serve as a movie theater (designed specifically for films with sound) a ballroom and promenade. The 20,000 square foot ballroom can accommodate 3,000 dancers. Today, it also serves as the island’s civil defense shelter, large enough to accommodate Catalina’s entire year-round population. Within its walls is stored enough food and water for all residents for two weeks.


The Catalina is considered to be a “folly“, In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs. In the original use of the word, these buildings had no other use, but from the 19th to 20th centuries the term was also applied to highly decorative buildings which had secondary practical functions such as housing, sheltering or business use. Danke Schön Rex Dieter! (image credits: via cardcow / ronorpitelli /whitney)

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