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Stage Door Canteen

Stage Door Canteen

Collection Number: 
147
Collection Length: 
0.25ft
Geographic Coverage: 
New York City
Period: 
1942 to 1946
Finding Aid: 

The Stage Door Canteen was started by the American Theatre Wing in 1942 and ended in 1946. Its location was the basement of the 44th Street Theater in New York City. Caterers and local merchants provided food and beverages while performers entertained the crowd. There were about 1,700 performers and service staff members who were in charge of keeping the Canteen in operation even during black-outs and curfews. About 3,000 to 4,000 servicemen from all over came to the Canteen to sing, dance, eat and drink before they went off to war. These servicemen, who had different ethnic and racial backgrounds, could socialize at the Canteen without fear of being discriminated against.

The collection was donated by SLU Performance and Communication Arts Associate Professor Andrea Nouryeh.