Marine Bar, Santa Catalina, California, 1930s
Great design is timeless. This simple but strikingly effective menu cover is 80 years old. It comes from the beautiful Catalina Casino, still a focal point of Catalina Island's entertainment scene.
The unique Moorish and Deco structure was completed in 1929 under the direction of magnates William Wrigley Jr. and David M. Renton. It was the first completely circular building built in the modern era and cost two million dollars. It contained a movie theater and studio tycoons such as Cecil B. DeMille, Sam Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer would travel by yacht to the Catalina Casino to preview their films. The ballroom, built above the movie theater, was a huge attraction that could hold 6,000 dancers. Big band entertainers performed here and could also be heard via nightly radio broadcasts.
The Marine Bar was created on the mezzanine level of the ballroom as a refuge for dancers and others from an over-flowing ballroom. The Marine Bar was actually a "soda bar" and this menu is from the 1930s. Only non-alcoholic beverages could be ordered from the menu. Drinks were named after world-class resorts – see the interior menu.
The building, beautifully restored, is the venue for events such as the Catalina Jazz Festival and the movie theater is still in business.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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