Did you know that during WWII Auditorium Theatre was used by the United States Military as a Servicemen’s Center, providing free services to our troops in training? You may know the iconic photo of the bowling alley that occupied our stage at the time. We are very proud of this part of our history, and we will be paying special tribute to our veterans during our December 9 Gala.
As part of our efforts to use this year’s celebration to preserve our past, we are reaching out to any veterans, volunteers, or staff that were part of this time in our history. In fact, a few weeks ago we had the privilege of sitting down with Don Farley, a veteran that was inducted into the Army in the Summer of 1942 and sent to Chicago to train at a radio operating school. A musician himself, Mr. Farley fondly recalls taking advantage of the Servicemen’s Center’s offerings of tickets to Chicago Symphony Orchestra and dancing with volunteers at events hosted in our building. It was remarkable to talk with someone who had experienced this part of our story and we are eager to find more people to talk to.
We plan to capture interviews with as many of these veterans and volunteers as we can throughout our anniversary season, but we need assistance getting the word out. Can you help? We are putting out the call below to the world. We are asking everyone to post it, or email it, or just shout it from the rooftops so that we can reach as many people as possible. You never know who you know who knows someone who knows someone. We need to make sure this part of the history of our country and building is preserved. If you can help us out, we would greatly appreciate it.
A Call for Veterans Who Trained in Chicago During WWII
and the Volunteers and Staff who made their training possible
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is looking to make contact with any WWII veterans, volunteers, or staff that worked in Chicago and were at Auditorium during WWII, when our theater was used as the Servicemen’s Center from 1941-1945. We hope to conduct in-person interviews with anyone who was involved in this part of our history. We would also be interested in locating a small number of those who are now based outside of Chicago.
Any veterans, volunteers, or staff that respond will be asked to do a short interview on camera. If that is not possible, phone interviews may be an option. These volunteers will also be invited to our gala performance on December 9, featuring a special tribute to this part of our history.
Interested parties may respond to:
Project Manager, 125 Anniversary
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
50 E. Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605