Entertainment was an important part of society in the 1920’s and new forms of it were becoming increasingly popular. Between 1919 and 1929 almost 4 billion dollars a year were spent on entertainment. This huge part of society in the 20’s still affects us today. Most forms of entertainment today can be related back to things that were still brand new to people in that time period.
Due to prohibition in this era, secret clubs and meetings controlled by crime members evolved all over America and Canada. They were called "Speakeasies," and sold illegal alcohol. To get into a speakeasy you needed to know the secret handshake, password, or knock. The clubs were hidden in the backs of stores or underground and were a great source of entertainment. People could meet to drink bootlegged alcohol, gamble, watch dancing girls, and listen to Jazz which was the most prominent music genre of the time.
Movies & Movie Stars
A very popular form of entertainment in the 20’s was going to see a silent film. Movies appealed to every type of crowd.
There were comedies with stars like Charlie Chaplain and Buster Keaton, adventures, which had stars like Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks, and several other genres including westerns and epics.
One popular pastime was listening to the radio. Between 1923 and 1930, 60% of American families bought radios. Radio was a way to escape everyday cares. One could sit and listen for hours to a variety of things such as music, comedies and plays, “soaps”, newscasts, and even children's programs. Even during the depression in the 1930's radio still remained an extremely popular form of entertainment.
While several new forms of entertainment were developed in the 1920's, people still enjoyed the classic pastime of reading a good book. Literature at that time included several different themes, such as romance, comedy, and tragedies, but most books seemed to have the same fundamental ideas.