The economy and the Great Depression both had an impact on the theatre business. Attendance at movies fell from 1929 to 1933, and profits did not return to 1929 levels until World War II. The Depression was extremely difficult on the movie industry, and its financial stability was put to the test. Thankfully, many of the major urban theaters were able to stay open, and attendance eventually returned to 1929 levels by the 1930s. Listed below are some of the things that changed during this time period.
Seattle was a major theatre city during the Depression years. Its English department and drama program director, Glenn Hughes, made Seattle a centre for theatre and the avant-garde arts. In addition to Broadway plays, the Cornish School’s academic theatre quickly gained reputation as the center of avant-garde arts in the United States. Its success sparked a revival in the Pacific Northwest and helped the economy recover.
The Depression was a terrible time for Broadway, but the industry survived and has a thriving reputation today. While many great performers came to prominence during the Depression, the economy has since rebounded, and the theatre has a greater audience than ever. In fact, the Great Depression may have strengthened the Broadway industry. With more audience members and increased money, the theatre has a more prominent place in the society today than ever before.