Catalina Island News

Solar Eclipse Viewed by Record Crowd at the Catalina Island Museum

Catalina Island Museum

Although Avalon only experienced 60% coverage during the historic solar eclipse, it did not take away from the excitement. A large crowd gathered outside the Catalina Island Museum to take part in its activities related to the solar eclipse. Many hoped to snag a pair of solar eclipse glasses while others wanted to view the NASA feed of the path of totality in the comfort of the museum’s digital theater.

As the eclipse approached its peak on the West Coast, local residents including a group of children from Catalina Kid Ventures and visitors from all over the world gathered on the museum’s second level. Viewers were provided and shared amongst those who did not have the proper safety glasses.

Throughout the morning attendees also enjoyed a special video presentation recounting the history of the September 10, 1923 eclipse. It was in that year that Santa Catalina Island was deemed the geographically best viewing area and dozens of astronomers and scientists came from around the world to set up a scientific viewing and recording station in the hills above Avalon. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in making visibility of the eclipse impossible. The town however, still celebrated by eating ice cream and being led in song to the ukulele tune of Aloha. In remembrance of that historic event in 1923, the Catalina Island Museum and its guests celebrated with ukulele music performed by Eddie Hoffmann and ice cream provided by Scoops. 

“We are proud to provide a space where the community can come together and experience such a historic event,” said Catalina Island Museum Executive Director Julie Perlin Lee. “I’d especially like to thank Jerry Dunn and his staff at Scoops for their generosity. The ice cream added to the social nature of the event and truly made it a day to remember.”

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, except Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 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.