Catalina Island News

Catalina Island Museum Salutes award winning theatre organist Robert D. Salisbury

Catalina Island Museum

Join the Catalina Island Museum on Saturday, June 4th at 1:00 p.m. for the Museum's 18th Annual Silent Film Benefit. This year's program will feature family favorite Peter Pan staring Betty Bronson. Released by Paramount Pictures in 1924 this silent gem is the first film version of the classic adventure tale by J. M. Barrie. The film will be shown in the historic Avalon Theatre, located on the ground floor of the world famous Casino Building on Catalina Island. The film will be accompanied by Christian Elliott on the Theatre's original Page Organ. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 1:00 p.m. with a special tribute to award-winning theatre organist, and long time Island resident, Robert D. Salisbury. Ticket prices for the Silent Film Benefit are $14 for Adults, and $12 for Children under 16, Museum Members, and groups of 20 or more. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (310) 510-2414 or visiting

Bob Salisbury has been a fixture at the Avalon Theatre for nearly 50 years.  A student of famed theatre
organist, Gaylord Carter, Bob began playing the Theatre's Page Organ as a young teen, after his family
moved to the island in 1958.  Bob also played the organ for all three churches in Avalon, as well as at the
Jade Pagoda Restaurant, and provided accompaniment for many of the previous Silent Film Benefits,
taking on the baton that legend Gaylord Carter passed on to him.  Now retired and living in Running
Springs, California Bob returns this year as an honored guest, and will pass the baton on to the Museum's
next organist, Christian Elliott, also trained by Carter.
This year's Silent Film Benefit is part of day-long series of special events saluting Catalina's
colorful history as one of Hollywood's favorite locations.  At 7:30 p.m. the Hollywood Tribute will
continue with a lively Big Band Dance and Silent Auction in the world famous Casino Ballroom. 
Guests can dance the night away to the swinging sounds of The Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra and bid to
take home rare Hollywood and Catalina memorabilia.  Bruce Belland, lead singer of The Four Preps,
will also be on hand to sing his #1 hit, "26 Miles" and introduce and autograph a special CD that he has
produced for the Museum.  

Special guests Barbara Billingsley from Leave it to Beaver, Marion Ross from Happy Days, Shirley
Jones from The Partridge Family, June Lockhart from Lassie and Lost in Space, and Beverly Garland
from My Three Sons will he honored at the dance for their contributions to American popular culture. 
Each will also be providing unique silent auction items.
Ticket prices for the Big Band Dance and Silent Auction are $70 for General Admission and $65 for
Museum Members.   Package tickets for the entire Hollywood Tribute are $80 for General
Admission and $70 for Museum Members.  

For the convenience of those attending the Hollywood Tribute, Catalina Express will offer a special
"midnight" boat from Avalon to Long Beach following the dance.  To make a reservation for the
midnight boat, contact Catalina Express at (800) 481-3470.