29 Vintage Photos of London Wartime Nightlife Under Blackout Conditions, 1944

London under blackout conditions. On 17 September 1944, the blackout was replaced by a partial “dim-out”.

The blackout began two days before the war began. Under blackout rules, everyone had to cover up their windows at night with black material. This was to make it difficult for German bombers to find their target in the dark.

The war and threat of bombing hardly stopped people from having a good time, even if an air of poignacy hangs over the whole thing.

Night-lifers, servicemen & late-night war workers riding down escalators as they hurry to catch the last train home, at Piccadilly Circus underground station during WWII.
People dancing to the music of orchestra on stage of Covent Garden Opera House after its conversion to a nightclub during wartime (WWII).
The “Blondes in the News” act in Jack Hylton’s “Hi-De-Hi” at the Stoll.
Inga Andersen singing “The General Doesn’t Like It in the Car” and “Hitler’s Gone and Lost His Secret Weapon” at “Bagatelle” Restaurant off Berkely Street.
Girl talking with an American sailor.
Two American MPs in Picadilly examining leave passes.
Couple saying goodbye outside the Tube station entrance.
Two soldiers with their torch examine the menu of a lower Wardour Street restaurant.
People hanging around outside Keith Prowse discussing which shows they should try to see.
Wounded soldier passed out on the street after hitting his head on the lamppost during the blackout.
Couples dancing the Jitterbug at the Paramount Dance Hall on Tottenham Court Road.
The “Embassy Club” on Bond Street.
Couple embracing outside the stage door of Prince of Wales Theare in Lower Wardour Street.
Barman checking the label on a bottle of liquor belonging to a member who has sent the waiter for it.
Mad dance in Phylis Dixey’s new show “Goodnight Ladies”.
Cast and audience of “Strike a new Note” at the Prince of Wales singing “The King” at the close of every public function.
Ally and other soldiers drinking in a bar.
Night-lifers, servicemen & late-night war workers riding down escalators as they hurry to catch the last train home, at Piccadilly Circus underground station during WWII.
“Poor Man’s” Club featuring a flashy bohemian-type pub theme.
Couples talking on the corner of Shaftesbury Ave and Dean Street.
Two girls standing outside Monico’s in Picadilly.
Girl waiting outside the stagedoor of Windmill Theatre off Picadilly for a friend.
Stripper Phylis Dixey performing on stage.
Two African American soldiers crossing the Circus.
African American soldier dancing with a British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force member at Paramount Dance Hall.
Outside the Rainbow Corner, girls talking with men.
Soldiers crowding inside a Red Cross club, the Hans Crescent Club to listen to singer Joyce Grenfell.
Bottles at the “Coconut Grove” labeled with their owners’ names.
Girl dancing the Jitterbug at the Paramount Dance Hall on Tottenham Court Road.

(Photos by David E. Scherman)

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