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The Best Hollywood Canteen Photos

             ** Click Here To See Photos **

The Hollywood Canteen operated for three years during World War Two.  Founded by Bette Davis and John Garfield, the Hollywood Canteen was located on Cahuenga Ave., just south of Sunset Blvd.

The Canteen was supported and operated by all the unions and guilds of the entertainment industry.  All the people who volunteered at the Cahteen were members of the motion picture and radio industries.  Over the course of its three year operation, more than three million servicemen visited the famous Hollywood Canteen.

Volunteers served in several capacities;  Hostesses, both Junior and Senior, danced and chatted with the visiting servicemen.  Other volunteers worked in the kitchen and served sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks, etc. to the visiting servicemen.  Many of the secretaries, who worked at the motion picture studios, would come to the Canteen and type letter for the servicemen to send home to girlfriends or family members.

Dancing was one of the most popular activities at the Canteen.  Servicemen not only danced with non-celebritiy volunteers but had the privalige of dancing with some of Hollywood’s most popular celebrities.  It was not unusual for servicemen to dance with the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Joan Leslie and Hedy Lamarr.  

Stage entertainment was, by far, the most popular activity at the Hollywood Canteen.  Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Kate Smith, Lena Horne and Basil Rathbone.  Bands and orchestras were also in great demand.  Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman were just two of the many famous bands that volunteered at the Canteen. Kay Kyser and his band played almost Saturday night for the three years that the Canteen operated.  

Food was an important feature at the Hollywood Canteen.  The kitchen was managed by Chef Milani who secured all the food that was donated and purchased to keep the operation going.  Everything, including all the food, cigarettes, coffee and soft drinks was free to all the visiting servicemen.

Over the course of the Canteen’s three year operation, thousands of photographs were taken by scores of photographers. The quasi-official photographer for the Canteen was Joseph Gaspar, who took hundreds of photographs of all types of Canteen activities.

There are over three hundred Hollywood Canteen on the web site -- and all the photos are available for purchase. 

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