Kitsap War Years

The postcard image was listed as a "1930s" street scene from Bremerton, but the movie marquee at the Tower Theater tells a different story. "What A Woman" starring Rosalind Russell premiered in 1943 so the scene dates to the heyday of my hometown -- The war years when the intense level of activity at the ship yard swelled Bremerton's population to 80,000. It's never matched that number again, but that's just as well. Many images from the time show shipyard workers living in hastily built shacks as the town struggled to house its mushrooming workforce.
The Tower Theater at 522 4th Street was one of a good half dozen movie theaters in downtown Bremerton. Those that weren't irreparably damaged by the quake of 1949 (like the Rialto) fell victim to the shifting economics of the region and were mostly gone by the 1960s.


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