The Black Cat opened in 1933 as a public dance hall. Part of the property was devoted to gambling in Joe’s Casino.
Public dance halls were popular with young people because it was a chance to escape the surveillance of their parents, meet members of the opposite sex and let loose with dance moves such as the rumba, the shag and the lindy hop. World War II interrupted this kind of socializing, when many young men went off to war. With the advent of television, movies and other forms of entertainment, dance halls never again enjoyed the crowds of their heyday.
Joe’s Casino at The Black Cat, located just south of Route 41 in Delaware, Maryland, sounds like it was a smart place. As well as gambling, there was nightly entertainment in the form of comedians and floor show, and patrons were charged $1.50 a pint if they brought their own liquor.
The gambling, drinking, dining and dancing establishment was demolished in 1944.
Some information courtesy of Delaware Historical Society.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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