Casino Burlesk

340 Diamond Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Originally opened as the Harris Theatre in 1911 it was renamed Casino Theatre in 1936. It is listed in editions of Film Daily Yearbook from at least 1941 and is still shown as operating in the 1950 Polk’s Pittsburgh City Directory. It operated as a burlesque theatre into the 1950’s, closing in 1966.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

fmbeall on October 14, 2007 at 9:57 am

Jaffe’s Casino functioned as Pittsburg’s “big time” burlesque house into the fifties.

edblank on June 4, 2008 at 8:13 pm

The theater was known as the Harris from 1911-36 and the Casino from 1936-66. (The Harris name was to be used again Downtown at 113 Sixth Street (earlier called the Alvin and later the Gateway) and then again at 809 Liberty Avenue (the former Art Cinema and the present Harris Theatre).

For decades in Pittsburgh, the Casino was THE burlesque house featuring such strippers as Lili St. Cyr, Irma The Body, Tempest Storm and Blaze Starr, as well as comedians such as Billy “Cheese & Crackers” Hagen.

The site’s official name seemed to become Casino Burlesk.

The theater became progressively more dilapidated. In its later years it used late-run movies to fill out the program, with the live shows probably becoming shorter.

For at least three decades after the Casino was razed, the property was occupied by a surface parking lot.

The property was part of a large block of land purchased by Point Park College in 2006 for development as part of the school’s campus.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

Among the dancers at the Casino were the “beef trust beauties,” promoted as being a “chorus of ‘hefty’ girls, each weighing 300 pounds or better.”

CSWalczak on November 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

An article about the history of the Csino/Harris Theatre can be read here.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

The Harris (Casino) had 2 Wurlitzer organs during the 1920’s. The first, opus 961, dated December 1924, was a highly customized Style B – listed as a 3 manual, 8 rank organ. The 2nd, opus 1344, dated May 1926, was a stock E-X, 2 manuals, 7 ranks.

TedLederer on December 8, 2014 at 1:30 pm

My grandmother’s brother was George Warshaw (1904-1965) who went by the stage name George Murray. George performed at and may have managed the “Casino” along with his wife Eileen in the 1940’s or 1950’s. I believe Eileen went by the name Eileen Hubert. I do not know if this was a stage name but I do know my family always new them as George and Eileen and I have been told by family members that they managed a theater in Atlantic City. In looking on-line through the old Billboard newspapers it appears they have also been vrery closely associated with the Casino in Pittsburggh. It all makes sense. Except that apparently there was more than one George Murray and in 2 of the many notices there are a couple of inconsistencies. I do know George and Eileen had a daughter named Anita. My family is trying to find Anita and or Eileen if she is still living (which is a distinct possibility) and/or her children. If you have any information, even deep background information or suggestions as to where (or with whom) I might look for information I would be very grateful. thanks, Ted Lederer

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