Business fell off dramatically during the depression
In late October 1929 a devastating stock market crash occurred on Wall Street. The crash was the result of risky financial decisions made by investors in the stock market. The value of stocks fell dramatically, sending the economy into a tailspin. Many people went broke and faced tough times. The crash was followed by the Great Depression, a severe worldwide economic downturn that lasted until World War II. Many people were unemployed during this time, income dropped, and many families became homeless.
, nearly destroying the firm. During the 1930s Carl designed only about three theaters in California before retiring.
The Kansas City office experienced a series of contract cancellations, and Robert came close to bankruptcy after trying to keep all his staff. He was eventually forced to close the office and move his family to a cabin in the Ozarks in June 1932 to weather the bad economy.
After receiving a handful of commissions, Robert was able to return to Kansas City in 1936. Instead of renting office space, he built a studio at his home on Brooklyn Avenue to save money. The firm’s staff was much smaller than before, and remodeling became their main work. The few new theaters designed by the firm were simpler and more modern in style.
World War II
World War II was a global conflict that began in Europe on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany. War broke out between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allied Powers (Britain, France, and the Soviet Union). Japan invaded China, occupied the Philippines, and seized a number of islands throughout the Pacific, while Germany captured much of Europe and North Africa before invading the Soviet Union. Millions of civilians were killed; Jews were specifically singled out by the Germans for extermination, as were other minorities, such as those who were mentally ill, physically and mentally disabled, homosexual, or members of political and religious groups who opposed the Axis Powers.
The United States provided aid to the Allied Powers but remained neutral until Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The United States then declared war on Japan and, in turn, Germany declared war on the United States. The United States joined the Allied Powers and launched an enormous war effort at home and abroad. On the home front, civilians made important contributions by helping to produce military equipment, supplies, and food in record amounts. American military forces fought in Europe, North Africa, and throughout the Pacific against the Axis Powers. By the end of the war, over twelve million Americans had served in the armed forces.
On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered, bringing an end to the war in Europe. The war in the Pacific continued until the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in early August 1945. The Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945. By the end of the war, over 418,500 American servicemen were killed, and worldwide an estimated thirty-eight million people lost their lives during the war.
brought new struggles. The War Production Board, a government agency that oversaw the use of scarce materials during the war, halted construction of movie theatres from 1942 to 1944. On at least one occasion during this time, the firm took advantage of a loophole that allowed them to remodel a theater using approved materials.