Catalina Island News

Catalina Island Museum's Grand Opening Celebration Sets Attendance Records

Catalina Island Museum

The Catalina Island Museum is making history. The Grand Opening Celebration of its new permanent home, the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building has set multiple records since it opened. Between June 17th and July 4th, over 5,300 people have viewed its galleries, digital theater, open-air plazas and Museum Store. That number represents more than double the museum’s daily average attendance in its previous location. The Catalina Chamber of Commerce is calling it the “biggest new tourism attraction this summer.”

Its ribbon cutting ceremony on June 18th welcomed hundreds of museum members and supporters. A representative from California Senator Alan Lowenthal’s office was on hand to present the museum’s Board of Trustees with a certificate in honor of the new building. That day alone the museum welcomed nearly 700 people through its doors, setting a single-day attendance record.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Many could not believe they were still in Avalon and could be heard saying, “Wow!” “Stunning!” “Beautiful!” For island residents, the Grand Opening has been quite emotional.

“Tears as I visited the museum and was floored. So proud of our little town and grateful that people have such a beautiful space to appreciate it's history,” commented Brenda Hoefs.

“The new Catalina Island Museum has some amazing history pieces, including the topographical map of the island and switchboard, along with photos, paintings and pieces I’ve never seen before,” said Lisa Lavelle. “They’ve made a space that residents, locals, and islanders can be proud of and visitors can learn from.”

“We love the new museum,” said Barbara Ehret. “It’s a great new experience. We want to support it in every way. And I loved the Bettie Page photographs by Bunny Yeager, especially the ones of her in the fun park. They are beautiful! She was so happy in front of the camera! Attending the gallery talk also made it more interesting.”

“The museum has worked diligently over the years to make the most of its resources to protect the cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island,” said Rose Ellen Gardner. “However, with the opening of the new museum building, they have taken a huge step forward in carrying out this very worthwhile mission. The bar has definitely been raised!”

The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, the new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Avenue. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website: