Cabarets and Clubs: 1930s


The late 1920s dance venues boom in New Zealand was strongly affected by the advent of the Great Depression in late 1929. Dance venues in New Zealand were spread across towns and surrounding suburbs, which meant that New Zealanders rarely attended more than one venue in an evening. With the cost of a night out ‘on the town’ becoming increasingly unaffordable many venues had to close or limit their public hours. These changes naturally affected the dancing scene, which was the base for many dance/jazz musicians, and also affected the continuing development of the local jazz scene.

By 1930 few venues were opened as ‘dedicated jazz venues’ as there had been in the 1920s.[1] However, there were a number of cabarets that opened which would become known among fans and musicians as jazz venues. In 1929, just prior to the Depression, three cabarets opened which would evolve into venues…

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