UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS IN NEW ZEALAND 1942-43. SERVICEMEN’S DANCE AT THE CECIL CLUB

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This is unedited raw film footage, shot by Academy Award winning US Marine cinematographer Norman T. Hatch for a US newsreel that was never completed, provisionally titled 'Meet New Zealand'. Around 21,000 Marines were stationed in camps around the Wellington region from June 1942 until November 1943. Most of their time was spent training hard preparing for the war in the Southwest Pacific against the Japanese.

The footage on this reel opens with Marines dancing with young local women in a purpose-built club in the Cecil Hotel, on the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay, Wellington. The Cecil Club was set up by the American Red Cross as a place for the US Marines to feel at home. Hamburgers, donuts, Coca-Cola, ice-cream sodas and coffee could be bought cheaply in the milk bar, while the jazz lounge featured regular bands from the units as well as the occasional visiting ‘name’ entertainers. This brief sound clip then cuts to a series of mute slated takes of a serviceman blowing a bugle before cutting back to the Cecil Club with the dance floor in full swing.

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Year 1943

Reference number F318870

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Genre Unfinished

Production company US Marine Corps

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