World War II in California


                                                                                                                                                        S. Charles Lee: Bay Theater – National City California

In October 1945, World War II was still raging on two fronts, Glen Miller was blasting from car radios and Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw was playing at the newly opened Bay Theater. National City – named for National Steel and Shipbuilding – was a company town, producing all manner of military vessels for for the war effort and the Bay Theater bears the indelible mark of the war in the Pacific. It’s a classic S. Charles Lee design and has been called Steamship Moderne, but the marquee and neon sign should really be referred to as Conning Tower Modern: it’s designed with the strictly business look of submarine superstructure, complete with steel access ladder, safety rail, bullet-proof steel plating and a flagpole. This anachronism sits unused at 330 National City Blvd., and is a regal reminder of American can-do attitude.

About John Durant

Professional photographer in California
This entry was posted in Architectural Photography, B&W negative film, California, color negatives, color transparencies, f/64, Film, Hollywood Sign, Modern Architecture, National City, S. Charles Lee, Steamship Moderne, Theater Design, War in the Pacific, World War II, Zig-Zag Modern. Bookmark the permalink.

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