the casino theatre

the casino theatre was one of the new theaters to emerge after the first decade of the twentieth century. the lyric and bijou theatres were already established, and the majestic theatre was on the horizon. the casino took its music seriously, calling their band “the casino theatre orchestra”, led by harry p. sutton on piano. other players included mr. frances harris, violin, mr. joseph martin, coronet, and mr. john smith, drums. On the corner of North and main, current location of city tavern, the casino was one of only a dozen businesses downtown with electric signs in 1911. it was also the first public theatre with a fire exit. vaudeville entertainment came through the keith circuit, one of the more popular touring syndicates in the country. like other theatres at this time, short films were shown between the vaudeville acts. in 1913 many theatres downsized their orchestras to a single pianist. the casino hired an “expert pianist”, who specialized in playing for pictures. The venue closed in 1925.