Stage Door Canteen

Burlesque Performers During World War II

Burlesque Performers in New York City during World War II

Stage Door Canteen Crowd

Crowd at the Stage Door Canteen.

The Stage Door Canteen was a USO sponsored social hall that opened up in New York City in 1942. Uniformed servicemen from any Allied country were allowed to enter and they had food and live entertainment.

The only women allowed in the Canteen worked there, either as performers or junior hostesses. The junior hostesses would serve the servicemen food and drinks and dance with them throughout the night. They weren't allowed to dance with other women or turn down a dance from a soldier. Women who served with the military were not allowed in the Canteen, even if they were in uniform. 

Stage Door Canteen