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Exterior view of the Catalina Casino, which gives the impression of a grand dream castle. Photograph dated October 18, 1977. The twelve-story Catalina Casino, a focal point of Santa Catalina Island entertainment since it opened in 1929, is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Although The Casino is an icon of Catalina and Avalon, there isn't any actual gambling allowed. The stunning Art Deco building stands at 140 feet tall and contains the world's largest circular ballroom with a 180-foot diameter dance floor as well as a beautiful movie theater. The Casino hosts most of Catalina's major indoor events, including the annual New Year's Eve Celebration, and the Catalina Island Jazz Festival. As of the 2000 census, there were approximately 3,127 people residing in the city.