Catalina Island News

Explore the Catalina Island Museum TONIGHT for First Fridays at the Museum

Catalina Island Museum

The Catalina Island Museum invites you to First Fridays at the Museum TONIGHT – Friday, August 5th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Offering evening hours once a month, First Fridays at the Museum encourages residents and visitors to explore the museum’s galleries and digital theater, sip wine, enjoy the outdoor plazas and shop in the Museum Store. Each First Friday event will highlight one of the museum’s four main areas of focus: art, history, music and film. Events may include music and dance performances, lectures, gallery talks, or films.

This month live music by local band, Hot Off the Range is the highlight. They will bring their mix of bluegrass, country and sixties grooves to the stage in the Schreiner Family Plaza of the museum’s new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building.

Since the late 1800s music has been an important part of the island’s visitor experience. A dance pavilion and a large outdoor amphitheater were among the first structures built by the Banning brothers when they first purchased the island. William Wrigley Jr. purchased Catalina Island in 1919. Live music and dancing were soon added to the big white steamships. From the moment visitors left the mainland, they were surrounded by entertainment. When Wrigley opened the Sugarloaf Casino in 1921 it became the preferred venue for music and dancing.

As the island’s popularity grew, so did the need for a premier entertainment space. The Sugarloaf Casino was soon replaced by the Casino building that stands today. The hottest names in Big Band music performed in the Casino Ballroom for record crowds who danced on the world’s largest uninterrupted circular dance floor. Island visitors and residents enjoyed nightly performances by the likes of Jan Garber, Kay Kyser, Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.

Jimmy Page and the Yard Birds performed in the Ballroom in the 1960s. The Fender Guitar Company held an annual blues festival in the Ballroom for many years. Since 1987, the Jazz Trax Festival has entertained music lovers from across the country with the smooth jazz sounds of the best musicians in the industry.

First Fridays at the Museum carries on that musical tradition tonight! The museum will re-open for this event at 6:00 pm. Hot Off the Range will play from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Schreiner Family Plaza. Tickets for First Fridays at the Museum are $7 for members of the museum and $12 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door. Wine, beer, soda and water will be available for purchase.