Casino Theater

340 Diamond Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Originally opened as the Harris Theater in 1911. The Casino Theater 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.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

fmbeall
fmbeall on October 14, 2007 at 2:57 pm

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

edblank
edblank on June 5, 2008 at 12:13 am

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.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 5, 2008 at 12:17 am

Status should be closed/demolished, based on Ed’s information.

edblank
edblank on June 5, 2008 at 12:27 am

Correct, Ken. As far as you know, is there a way to amend/update the information at the top of an entry like this. In this particular case, the misinformation is by no means egregious – just outdated. But is there an apparatus for changing a major error?

edblank
edblank on June 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Thank you, LM. Every now and then I find several “postscripts” (What’s the proper name for our followup comments?) that agree there’s misinformation in the heading – in the initial entry. Other times, I’m reading “correct” correction after correction on an entry that is correct at the top, too, which tells me the C.T. monitors must have gone back and implemented the corrections.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm

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
CSWalczak on November 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm

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

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 2, 2013 at 7:48 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.

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