The Hollywood Canteen operated at 1451 Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, California between October 3 1942 and November 22 1945 (Thanksgiving Day) as a club offering food, dancing and entertainment for servicemen, usually on their way overseas. Even though the majority of visitors were U.S servicemen, the Canteen was open to servicemen of allied countries as well as women in all branches of service. The serviceman's ticket for admission was his uniform and everything at the Canteen was free of charge.
The driving forces behind its creation were Bette Davis and John Garfield, along with Jules Stein, President of Music Corporation of America, who headed up the finance committee. Bette Davis devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the project and served as its president. The various guilds and unions of the entertainment industry donated the labor and money for the building renovations. The Canteen was operated and staffed completely by volunteers from the entertainment industry. By the time the Canteen opened its doors, over 3000 stars, players, directors, producers, grips, dancers, musicians, singers, writers, technicians, wardrobe attendants, hair stylists, agents, stand-ins, publicists, secretaries, and allied craftsmen of radio and screen had registered as volunteers.
Glamorous stars volunteered to wait on tables, cook in the kitchen and clean up. On September 15 1943 the one millionth guest walked through the door of the Hollywood Canteen. The lucky soldier, Sgt. Carl Bell, received a kiss from Betty Grable.
A Hall of Honor at the Hollywood Canteen had a wall of photos which honored the film actors who served in the military.
There are over 225 photographs of the Hollywood Canteen.