Remembering Catalina’s Days as a ’Celebrity Playground’

Byline: Nu Yang

Remembering Catalina’s Days as a ’Celebrity Playground’

AVALON — Discover what Catalina Island was like during Hollywood’s “golden age” at “Celebrity Playground,” a new exhibit scheduled to open next month at the Catalina Island Museum. The exhibit will feature photos, artifacts and a variety of special material related to the many celebrities who have played and worked on the island.

Boaters are invited to attend an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 12. Tickets are free for museum members and $5 for the general public.

During the 1930s and 1940s, many stars — including Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Weissmuller and John Wayne — enjoyed boating to Avalon Bay as a regular getaway from Hollywood. Upon arriving, they spent time fishing, swimming and relaxing along the island’s rugged coastline, and were frequently spotted exploring the town of Avalon.

During spring, when the Wrigley-owned Chicago Cubs trained on the island, celebrities could catch a baseball game and chat with their favorite players. And almost every evening, stars mingled comfortably with islanders at restaurants and bars in Avalon and Two Harbors.

The “Celebrity Playground” exhibit is scheduled to run though Jan. 29, 2012.

The museum, located on the ground floor of the Catalina Casino, is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit or call (310) 510-2414.

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