Call Upon ‘Catalinaland' with Charles Phoenix

Avalon lovers, here's your chance to step back into the enchanted isle's enchanting past.

What to Know

  • Sunday, June 2
  • Avalon Casino Theatre on Catalina Island
  • $39

Much like everyone has a karaoke song in their back pocket, and a quick elevator pitch for the boss, just about every Southern Californian can cite something incredibly charming and a touch quirky about Catalina Island.

Perhaps you mention the golf carts first, the ones that cheerily roam the streets of Avalon, the island's largest town. Or maybe you call out the beautiful buffalo, the animal icons descended from long-ago movie stars brought to the island for a silent film production.

Or you go with the flying fish? The glass-bottomed boats? The Airport in the Sky? The Catalina Wine Mixer? Those famous balloon-dropping New Year's Eve balls?

Charles Phoenix, the funny historian (or history-loving retro entertainer, if you prefer), loves it all, knows it all, and takes time each year to present a slide show celebrating Catalina's cool and ever-present past.

"Catalinaland" is the name of the performance-fun event, which'll jump, with the vigor of a flying fish, into our lives on Sunday, June 2 at the Avalon Casino Theatre.

First-timers can expect a presentation brimming with Mr. Phoenix's dry and incomparable insights. His narration complements dozens of zingy snapshots that celebrate the island's stand-out charms, charms that have grown and deepened over several scenic decades.

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In short?

Guests can expect to go on a "... time travel storytelling and retro slide show adventure exploring the island's classic landmarks, legends, and lore."

A ticket is $39, but if you're a member of the Catalina Island Museum, you'll snag your seat for $35. And the 2 p.m. show means you can likely catch a boat back to the mainland, that evening, if you so choose.

But why wouldn't you choose to book a hotel for the night and savor Avalon's pretty sights?

Plus, there's an after-party, and book-signing with Mr. Phoenix, and if you're hoping that you'll dig into flying fish cake, your hope shall be met.

And, really, where else in the world would such a confection be so proudly served? Flap your fins at once, to this page, for your ticket to this throwback bash of Catalina-ic proportions.

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