Three generations keep Casino Theatre humming

NOTE: This story has been typed in from a clipping saved from the Pocono Record, as it is not available online.

By Lauren Kurz | For the Pocono Record

Three generations of the Casino Theatre operators talk outside the theater, while patrons scurry around inside the Mount Pocono landmark.

George Litz, a retired schoolteacher, his daughter Karen Struckle, and her son, rising high school senior Donald Jr., 17, are members of an extended Casino Theatre family that is in its third decade of offering family entertainment and movies.

The business began 28 years ago when George and Sheila Litz and two other couples started the business together. After a couple of years, the Litzes found themselves to be the sole owners.

Over the years, everyone in the Litz family has pitched in, from the grandfather on down to a 3-year-old grandchild.

Karen Struckle has begun to take a more active role in the business where she began working as a teen.

Now Donald Jr. is poised to continue the family tradition.

“He’s been brought up here, so he wants to do this,” his mom said.

“You have to learn from the ground up,” the teen said of how he worked his way up from ice cream scooping and cleaning to running the projector.

“The business is focused around family entertainment,” the elder Struckle said of the theater, restaurant, malt shop, arcade and miniature golf course.

The theater has recently opened a second screen and now offers first-run movies.

“We always have one that is kid-oriented,” Karen Struckle said of the theater’s selection of films.

Affordability and a commitment to family entertainment seems to be a winning combination for the business.

“Our business has grown each year, and with the twinning of the theater we see a tremendous growth potential,” Litz said.

The theater charges $2 to $3 for children and $4 to $5 for adults, prices that are bargains compared to most theaters.

“That remains our policy to this day,” Litz said. “We don’t anticipate raising those prices. Our clientele is geared primarily to families.”

Future goals for the Casino are simple.

“That the business continues to be successful and that we can continue to provide affordable entertainment for people in the community,” Litz said.

“My dad really wants to go year-round now that there’s two movies,” Karen Struckle said.

Litz also said that he hopes his daughter will continue to run the business with the help of her husband, Donald Struckle, and that his grandchildren will some day take over the business from them.

Donald Struckle Jr., who envisions a career in the film business, is hoping to be able to also keep the family business going.

“I want to be a director when I grow up,” the Pocono Mountain East High School student said.