NEAATO Blog

NETWORK OF ENTERTAINING ASIAN AMERICAN TALENT

Oral History Project: Original “Forbidden City Nightclub” dancer, Mary Tom


The Forbidden City was a Chinese-themed nightclub and cabaret in business from the late 1930s to the late 1950s , on the second floor of 363 Sutter Street in San Francisco between Chinatown and Union Square. The Forbidden City featured Asian American singers, dancers, chorus lines, magicians, and musicians. It was popular with military personnel who were transiting through San Francisco during World War II. The novel, and in turn the musical and film Flower Drum Song were inspired by the Forbidden City, as was the 1989 documentary, Forbidden City U.S.A. Here, Mary Tom tells us her story of how she got from Arizona to San Francisco.


 

One comment on “Oral History Project: Original “Forbidden City Nightclub” dancer, Mary Tom

  1. Pearl
    March 26, 2011

    So wonderful- thank you for posting! Several of the ladies from the Forbidden City keep this history alive as The Grant Avenue Follies : http://grantavenuefollies.com/
    Love and Pasties,
    Pearl

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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