I went to an author event yesterday for Jacqueline Lynch's new book Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain:70 Years of Summer Theater on Mt. Tom. The theater at Mt. Tom was originally simply called Casino. Later the name was changed to the Mt. Tom Playhouse.
During the course of the book discussion the question was asked why was the theater called Casino when there was no gambling done there, only plays put on. We didn't have an answer, so when I got home I asked Google and discovered this- The word Casino is Italian and dates back a long time to when cottages and small villas were called casinos. Over time the word casino evolved to mean a place of entertainment- such as billiards, bowling, musical events, dancing, and theatrical productions. In the mid-1800's during the Victorian Era the word Casino was used as a rather exotic sounding name for theaters. In the late 1800's many theaters were called Casino- hence when the then open air theater at Mt. Tom was opened in July 1895 and then later enclosed it was called Casino.
Nowadays, we only think of casinos as places lined with slot machines and filled with games of chance.
You learn something new every day-even if you need to put a little research effort into it!