Casino Theatre in Vandergrift, PA

Allan Walzak takes us for a tour of the CASINO THEATRE in VANDERGRIFT, PA.


The Casino Theatre was built in 1900 in the Greek Revival Style. The theatre’s most distinctive and historic feature is its temple front with four Greek Ionic columns. From its founding until 1927, the Casino hosted live entertainment and was a popular stop along the “Vaudeville Circuit”.

Among its historic visitors during the past century are President William H. Taft, world boxing champion Bob Fitsimmons, composer Hoagy Carmichael, the Lone Ranger, Tex Ritter and the Three Stooges. In 1927 the Casino was remodeled as the areas largest movie theater. In the 1950’s, the theater was converted to show wide-screen movies to compete with television. The first show was “The Robe”, a Biblical spectacular.

Many generations of local residents now reminisce about enjoying popcorn and movies at the Casino with friends, school groups, or that special guy or girl. More that a few “veteran couples” credit holding hands in the balcony of the Casino as the beginning of their long-lasting marriages.

In 1981, with the building of the new style, multi-screen movie theaters throughout the valley, the Casino could no longer attract sufficient audiences, and the theater closed its doors. A performing arts company briefly presented some stage plays in the mid 1980’s, but could not find financial success, and the auditorium’s seats were removed and the theater was used for storage space.

When the building was threatened with demolition in the late 1980’s a community group spearheaded by high school English teacher Eugene Iagnemma organized and volunteered to restore the theater to a showplace for future generation, and secured a place on the National Register of Historic Buildings. In 1992, the group formalized as Casino Theatre Restoration and Management, Inc. (CTRM), a non-profit corporation, and began restoration work. The architectural firm of McLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni, who have restored Heinz Hall and the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, and who are nationally recognized as experts in historic theater restoration, were commissioned by CTRM to draw plans for the restoration.

The Casino Theatre is once again enjoying the reputation and popularity of her heyday. Audiences from throughout the Alle-Kiski valley and well beyond have filled the auditorium and enjoyed the wonderful entertainment and the unique atmosphere of a “real theatre” ever since the doors of the theatre reopened in 1995.

Their website is To contact them for guided tours or more information call 724-567-5000


Casino 2

Casino 3


About Dick and Danna

Resume for Dick Vernon, PHD (Possess Highschool Diploma) I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. I am a strong conservative politically. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I make women swoon with my sensuous steel guitar playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, I repair computerized aircraft panels free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. Ihave been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On week- ends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I have given Rachel Ray and Emirile cooking lessons. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performe open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis many times when I taught him how to play guitar.. But I have not yet gone to college. ——————————————————- Resume for: Danna Vernon I put up with Dick Vernon. Doesn’t that say it all?
This entry was posted in Danna's Radio Diner Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s