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1940 Theater

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1940 Theater

Theater has always been a big part of American entertainment, and Broadway is the center of all of it. But in the start of the 1940's theater was starting to be threatened by television and movies. Many theaters were closed down and Broadway Street was no longer heavily populated by theater. Not only were theaters disappearing in Broadway, but also in all over the city of New York.

As theaters were disappearing movies were beginning to take over the entertainment business. Broadway theaters were now film houses and theater buildings were being viewed as dangerous and unprofitable. People were going less and less to theaters, and Broadway was hurt dramatically. At the same time television was also becoming a huge threat to theater. People would prefer to stay home and save money than go to theater and spend. Along with the decline of theater 80% of theater actors were unemployed. Something had to be done.

In order to attract more customers musical were being re added to theater. Musicals are plays where singing and dancing are a big part. These musicals attracted a lot of the American public and once again theater was back and running. A very big name

in theater in the 1940s was Irving Berlin. His first musical was titled, Louisiana Purchase, and was a big hit.

Also in the late 1940 black theater was formed by Abram Hill and Frederick O'Neal in Harlem, New York. Named American Negro Theatre was developed with many goals. The first goal was to expose the talents of the black community. Another goal is to produce plays that are interpreting the black lifestyle with integrity. Also a goal was to provide leadership to other black theaters. The last goal was to utilize it resource to develop racial pride for the black community. This theater was held in the basement of the New York Public Library in Harlem. This was the case for about five years. Black theater attracted the attention of many not only of the black populations.

At the end of the 1940s theater was still declining, but Broadway was still attracting audience from other countries. Once again television and movies were still dominating the attention of the public. But the American Negro Theater was one of the greatest accomplishments. All in all, as you can see the American theater could surpass all these obstacles and become the great theater it is today.

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