Berlin: Friedrichstadtpalast (old)

Country: Germany (Deutschland)
State: Berlin
City: Berlin
Location: Mitte, Am Zirkus 1 (between Reinhardtstraße and Schiffbauerdamm)

Built 1867 by Friedrich Hitzig as a market hall. Closed after 6 months, subsequently used as a warehouse. 1873 converted to a circus building (4500 seats). Re-opened 1873 as "Markthallen-Circus" directed by Salamnsky. 1879 bought by circus director Renz, and renamed "Zirkus Renz". Later renamed "Zirkus Schumann". Used for circus and variety performances. Closed in 1918.

1918 bought by Max Reinhardt's National-Theater AG. 1918-1919 rebuilding by Hans Poelzig, creating a stage reminding of ancient theatres and a sumptuous expressionist interior decoration reminding of dripstone caves. Re-opened 28 Nov 1919 as "Großes Schauspielhaus" with Aeschylus's "Oresteia". Ca. 3000 seats. Subsequently used for drama performances, e. g. Max Reinhardt's productions of Shakespeare's "Hamlet", Rolland's "Danton", Schiller's "Die Räuber", and Aristophanes's "Lysistrata". A second stage in the basement of the complex was used by the cabaret "Schall und Rauch" (that had previously performed in the "Kleines Theater", Unter den Linden 44). After 1924, the complex was mainly used for revue and variety performances.

1933 nationalized and renamed "Theater des Volkes". Subsequently rebuilt, destroying Poelzig's decoration and reinstalling a traditional proscenium stage. Used for operetta and ideological drama performances. Destroyed by bombs in 1943.

1945 provisional rebuilding. 1947 renamed "Friedrichstadtpalast" and re-opened as a variety theatre (also known as "Palast Varieté"). Closed 1980 due to structural problems caused by the stilt fundaments. Demolished in 1985.

[1984, a new "Friedrichstadtpalast" was opened at another site in Friedrichstraße.]

Notable world premieres:

  • Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Jedermann (1 Dec 1911)
  • Ernst Toller: Die Maschinenstürmer (30 June 1922)
  • Ralph Benatzky: Die drei Musketiere (31 Aug 1929)
  • Ralph Benatzky: Im weißen Rößl (8 Nov 1930)
  • Bertolt Brecht/Hanns Eisler: Die Maßnahme (10 Dec 1930)
  • Eduard Künneke: Die Hochzeit von Samarkand (14 Feb 1938)

[Berlin: Friedrichstadtpalast (old)] Front Text: "Berlin, Friedrichstadtpalast"; inscription: "Friedrichstadt-Palast"
Publisher: Verlag Trinks & Co., Leipzig; Bestell-Nr. 1
Type: Real Photo
Size: Classic
Not sent.

[Berlin: Friedrichstadtpalast (old)] Picture: left: Berliner Ensemble (Theater am Schiffbauerdamm), right: Friedrichstadtpalast
Front Text: "Berlin, Theater am Schiffbauerdamm u. Friedrichstadtpalast"; inscriptions: "Theater am Schiffbauerdamm", "Friedrichstadt-Palast"
Publisher: Photochemie Berlin
Type: Real Photo
Size: Classic
Sent: from Berlin to Mannheim, 1951

[Berlin: Friedrichstadtpalast (old)] Picture: left: Berliner Ensemble (Theater am Schiffbauerdamm), right: Friedrichstadtpalast
Front Text: "Berlin, Weidendammer Brücke"; inscription: "Friedrichstadt-Palast"
Handwirtten Reverse Text: dated 15 Aug 1951
Publisher: Photochemie Berlin N 113; Lizenz Nr. 172; Gen.-Nr. Za 435 - 1/1 - 551
Type: Real Photo
Size: Classic
Not sent.

For another postcard of this theatre, see Berlin: Cards showing various theatres.

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