History of the Casino

THE 1930s — By the early '30s, The Casino was a dance hall and movie theatre.

An advertisement published in "This Week in the Poconos" in July 1932 outlines a typical schedule for a summer week: Dancing Monday and Friday nights to recorded big band music, movies Tuesday and Thursday nights, and a live dance band Wednesday and Saturday nights. Click page to see larger view.

It cost 25 cents to be admitted to the Casino's dance nights, which feature "electric reproductions of world's greatest dance bands" and promise "volume equal to that of original band."

At the Casino, the big attraction for the week is a live band. Donlin's Pennsylvanians, a group founded by Wilkes-Barre music teacher William J. Donlin, plays at the Casino twice a week, bringing a five-piece group on Wednesdays, when admission was 50 cents, and a seven-piece band on Saturday nights, when admission jumped to $1, tax included.

In 1932: Herbert Hoover is president, and the country is in the depths of the Great Depression. (Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Hoover in a landslide election in the fall.) Jack Benny's radio show airs for the first time. The Revenue Act of 1932 creates the first gas tax: 1 cent per gallon. Walt Disney's "Flowers and Trees" is the first animated cartoon in full Technicolor. Radio City Music Hall opens and New York City's Palace Theatre converts to a movie house, marking the end of vaudeville. The Academy Award for Best Picture went to "Grand Hotel."

The Casino was purchased by Mrs. Hyacinth C. Smith of Stroudsburg some time in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

THE 1950s