The Avalon Ball Weekend

These are a few of my favorite things....

So, What Is The "Avalon Ball Weekend????"

Now in it's 10th year, the Avalon Ball is an fantastic journey into the past when Big Bands played for huge audiences which were broadcast to the nation in the Art Deco Casino Ballroom built in 1929 and located in the city of Avalon on Catalina Island.  Completely restored just a few years ago, the ballroom retains its original romantic style--a lavish medley of rose-hued walls, an arching, fifty-foot ceiling with five Tiffany chandeliers, an elevated stage, raised seating areas around the dance floor, and a vintage, full-service bar in back.

This magical night features an evening of dancing to music from the 1920s and 30s performed by Dean Mora & the Avalon Ball Dance Orchestra. Immerse yourself in glorious Deco opulence gliding across the 10,000 square foot dance floor surrounded by romantic ocean views.

In May of every year, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles plans and executes the Avalon Ball which is a 1920-1949's dance on Saturday night in the Avalon Casino. For several years, a group of us has gone to spend the weekend on the island and take in the Avalon Ball as part of the activities.

The following explains what we do..... And we hope you do it with us this year!!!

Friday Afternoon/Evening


We generally catch the Catalina Express around noon on Friday so as to arrive at 1:00 and check into our hotel by 1:30.

The trip is $64/pp round trip and we generally buy the upgrade for another $30/pp round trip which gives us the upstrairs private lounge ad a free drink!

So the boat ride over and back first class is $94 per person. Checkout the virtual tour of the Starship.


Our hotel of choice is the Villa Portofino Hotel and Ristorante .

It is located right on the bay and a few hundred feet from the Casino! Room types vary from suites to smaller rooms. You can expect approximately $400 per couple for two days which gives you a nice room, close to everything. The folks at the hotel are marvelous.

To assure we have rooms, Sue and Paul have already reserved ten rooms for May 11th and 12th for ten couples.


We usually are unpacked and ready to go by 2:00pm.

Sometoimes we walk two blocks to the island market (Von's) and pick up any special wines/snacks we may want).

The hotel has a rooftop patio which we use as a coagulation point. You have time to do some walking, shopping, sightseeing, or whatever.

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
Visiting upon the roof after unpacking.... View form the roof is great...

Friday Dining

We generally go to dinner together at a local restaurant which was pre-notified and set up for our group (i.e. they have been warned!) Sue and Paul go to Catalina about sixty days or so ahead of everyone else and make the "final arramgements".

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
Dinner is a hoot and then we can explore the island... Sometimes we go to the movies at the Catalina Casino Theater or walk around and see the sights

The Avalon Theatre is located in the lower level of the Catalina Casino. It features first-run movies and seats 1,184 people. The theatre is 138 feet across and 43 feet high. Art deco murals by John Gabriel Beckman adorn the walls and create a glamorous ambiance.

Saturday Brings New Adventures

Breakfast And Exploration

Everybody does their own thing until mid afternoon. Some of have breakfast and play noine holes of golf. Some play minature golf, some explore the island, take a bus tour, rent a golf cart, do the zip line, go on the submarine, see the Silent Movie Festival, shop or lounge around! Take a look at the activities available!

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
Getting started on Saturday morning

Readying For The Dance

After a light lunch in one of the many dining establishmnents, we begin to coagulate on the roof top in preparation for getting prepared....

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
Over a period of a couple of hours the catapillars become butterflies

The Transformation

We all get ready and then joinup for a pre-dinner photo-op! From shorts to suits and ties and tuxedos. We become beautiful.

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
A gaggle of butterflies....

Dinner Time

We head for dinner at the restuarant associated with the hotel which opens early for just us! It's Italian and outstanding. It is right next door to the hotel. You will get to see other diners who are also "dressed to kill".

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
We dine at our leisure because some of us are ADLSA members and we can go to the dance 15 minutes
early and save tables/seats for everyone else..... See Paul & Sue run!

Heading To The Casino

After dinner everyone heads to the Casino. Dance tickets are about $45/pp for non-members and $35/pp if you are members of the Art Deco Society Of Los Angeles. It is about 1/2 mile of level walking to the Casino and then up a ramp to the ballroom. Dance The Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Balboa,The Charleston, Tango, Foxtrot, The Waltz and much, much, amazingly much more!

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
We have our tables and joined the conga line


The dancing is magnificent as we have a ballrrom that would hold thousands and we are about 500-700! The music is amazing and we do have to join the conga line for a trip around the room!

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
The ballroom is hugh and with 700 people there is ample room.... It's magical

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
The band is outstanding. When the dance is over, we head to the hotel's restaurant and sometimes have dessert and a nightcap

Post Dance Cavorting Begins Immediately

We walk back to the hotel discussing the evening. Some of us go for a little dessert and perhaps a toddy for the body before goint to our rooms for a restful and well deserved sleep!

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
The crew discussing the evening events

Sunday Morning Is Quiet And Time To Packup

Rise And Shine... Well, At Least Rise

Many of us go to breakfast and then return to the hotel to pack up for a noon-time departure. If you like, the hotel will keep your bags for you and you could spend the rest of the day aroud the island and return to the mainland later on.

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball   Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
Mary And Fred had an Art Deco Beach Party to go to.... We headed for home on the 11:00 am-boat

Returning Home

We celebrated a successful weekend on the way home and several of us went to a local restaurant and enjoyed a little lunch before heading for home.....

Typical visit  the Avalon Ball
The cavorting did NOT stop on the way home.... We laughed and giggled all the way home


Typical visit  the Avalon Ball