Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, and the U.S. entered WW II.
By March 1942 Hollywood stars were selling War Bonds and many male stars were marching off to war. Rationing had started and Hollywood had to make do as well as the rest of the nation. The bright lights along the country’s rialtos were dimmed and that included Brooklyn as well as Times Square. Washington proposed censorship of Hollywood productions, and the question in the air was “Will this picture help win the war?” The average ticket price to see a movie was 27 cents and now included a federal amusement tax.
A Brooklynite who opened his Brooklyn Eagle to the entertainment page on March 6, 1942, found a bonanza of choices in the way of movies. And with all the worries of wartime, they needed all the diversion they could find.
Captains of the Clouds was at the Fox, in which James Cagney and some pals join the Canadian Air Force for some wartime excitement. The Brooklyn Paramount was showing Bahama Passage and Steel Against the Sky. The RKO Albee’s double feature was Son of Fury with Tyrone Power, and Playmates with Brooklyn-born Gene Tierney and Kay Kyser.
RKO’s neighborhood Brooklyn theaters were showing Hellza-Poppin and a co-feature, Paris Calling, which dealt with underground activities in Paris. Loew’s Metropolitan offered a double feature: Corsican Brothers and Miss Polly with Zuzu Pitts and Slim Summerville. Loew’s Kings at Flatbush and Tilden was showing Kathleen in which a 13-year-old Shirley Temple promotes romance between her widower father and a lady she felt would make a good wife for him.
Movies weren’t the only entertainment advertised. For instance the Flatbush Theater, 2207 Church Ave., had a winner: “The Earl Carroll Vanities” featuring “the most beautiful girls in the world” (2 dozen of them ‘in the flesh’). An ad for the amusement park at Manhattan Beach announced dancing nightly to Ben Cutler and his orchestra.