Catalina Connection

Museum to Host Holiday Open House at Casino

Byline: Nu Yang

Museum to Host Holiday Open House at Casino

AVALON — The Catalina Island Museum will host a holiday open house from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 16, offering free admission, museum store discounts and a tasting provided by Steve’s Steakhouse.

For the past 25 years, the museum’s open house had been held at the Inn on Mt. Ada, housed in the historic former home of Catalina Island owner and chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. However, the museum and the Inn have mutually agreed to end the annual event there.

Director of operations Gail Fornasiere said the decision was due to the fact The Inn was becoming very busy, and in the past, had to close to accommodate the museum for the event. She added the museum’s small staff was unable to commit the time necessary to putting together such a large event this year.

“A lot of people were disappointed,” she said. “So, we decided to still do something for a holiday open house.”

The holiday open house at the museum will give visitors a chance to check out renovations, explore the museum store and “enjoy the space,” as Fornasiere put it.

The store will offer special gift items as part of a holiday sale, including merchandise from each of this year’s museum’s exhibitions — including items related to the Chicago Cubs, the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe. Museum members will receive an additional 15 percent discount on all store merchandise on top of the holiday savings. Visitors will have a chance to become a museum members the same day, to take advantage of the extra discounts.

There will be free museum admission during the open house. The current exhibit, “Celebrity Playground: Hollywood’s Favorite Island,” showcases memorabilia related to Hollywood’s Golden Age when stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and John Wayne worked and played on the island regularly.

Afterward, open house attendees can stop by the museum’s Harbor Room for a holiday beverage and a special tasting provided by Steve’s Steakhouse.

“We want to celebrate the holiday season and our successes of the year with our members and patrons,” said Devin Thompson, director of membership and development. “We encourage everyone to come to the holiday open house and take advantage of all the museum has to offer.”

Fornasiere said she hoped the holiday open house at the museum will become a new tradition.

The museum is located on the ground floor of Catalina Casino. For more information, call (310) 510-2414 or visit

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