On May 29, 1929, the new Catalina Casino was completed under the direction of Wrigley and David M. Renton, at a cost of 2 million dollars. Its design, by Sumner Spaulding and Walter Weber, is in the Art Deco and Mediterranean Revival styles. It was the first movie theatre to be designed specifically for films with sound ("talkies"). It received the Honor Award from the California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, as "one of the outstanding architectural accomplishments."
With a height equal to a 12-story building, it was built to serve as a theatre on the main floor and a ballroom and promenade on the upper level. Movie studio tycoons such as Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer, and Samuel Goldwyn frequently came by yacht to the Casino to preview their newest cinema productions. It also serves as the island's civil defense shelter, large enough to accommodate Catalina's entire year-round population. Within its walls is stored enough food and water for all Avalon's residents for two weeks.
The steel structure of the predecessor Sugarloaf Casino can still be found in Avalon's abandoned bird park. The bird park was conceived by Mrs. Wrigley in the 1930s, and at the time it was one of the largest aviaries in the world.
In 1993 the movie theater was photographed by Hiroshi Sugimoto, for his art series "Theatres."
In September 2008, the Catalina Casino had the first live full production of a musical on its stage, when the Santa Catalina Island Company presented Grease!.