Apollo Theater (Berlin)

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Entrance to the theater
in 1900
Interior view of the Concordia Theater 1891
Berlin memorial plaque in Friedrichstrasse 218, Berlin-Kreuzberg

The Apollo Theater was a cultural institution that specialized in light entertainment, including concerts and operettas. The theater building was built in 1874 in Berlin-Kreuzberg , at Friedrichstrasse 218.


The beginnings in 1870

As early as 1870, musical entertainment was offered here in the summer concert garden, so the Berlin public long before the Apollo Theater opened, it was known as a place of pleasure and entertainment. In 1874 a hall was built that enabled year-round operation.

Different names for the venue

In December 1877, the house, now called Olympia , was used to perform variety shows . With this program, however, the Olympics could only last a few months.

In 1878 the cultural institution was named Berliner Flora and the operators returned to the musical entertainment program. In the reference book for travel purposes from 1884, the operator A. F. Stein advertises the Berlin flora as follows:

“To be reached with the Berlin horse tram. [...] Daily humorous soirée by the German quartet and concert singers. Serving of Moabiter light and dark lager . Excellent cuisine at civil prices. Magnificent summer garden. I recommend my 1500 person room to societies and associations for holding festivities under solid conditions. "

The new director Adolf Düssel redesigned the house as a vaudeville from 1884 and named it Concordia . With music and acrobatics, it then rose to become one of the most prestigious places of entertainment in Berlin. In 1890 the architect Gustav Ebe converted the entertainment establishment into a theater , and Jacques Glück took over the management . It opened as the Apollo Theater in 1892 and was initially able to benefit from the good reputation of the Concordia . In advertisements it said “Specialitäten-Theater I. Ranges. With magnificently illuminated gardens ”.

Film screenings, operettas and concerts

From December 1896, Oskar Messter performed his first films in front of an audience with the Messter Kinetograph . The film screenings took place here regularly for the next ten years. In 1903 Oskar Messter presented his film projector Kosmograph in connection with a gramophone for the first time in the Apollo Theater .

In 1893 Paul Lincke took up a position, initially on probation, as Kapellmeister. He had to accompany the changing variety programs with the house orchestra and was able to live out his musical fantasies. He evidently made good use of this, because his rousing musical drive and his empathy for the artistic performances soon earned him the appointment of First Kapellmeister. On May 1, 1899, Paul Lincke's operetta Frau Luna premiered in the Apollo Theater . Even Otto Reutter wearing his here couplets before. In publications from the years 1898 and 1900, some actresses and actors can be seen at this theater. Upside Down World or Ms. Luna , Lysistrata and Don Juan in Hell are examples of the pieces that have each been shown several hundred times.

Paul Lincke performed on this stage a. a. on:

  • Venus on Earth (director Alfred Schmasov ), parodic operetta in one act (June 6, 1897 Berlin)
  • Frau Luna (director Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers ), burlesque-fantastic set operetta in one act (December 31, 1899 Berlin); several makeovers; Version in two acts with additional numbers from Berlin air (1922 Berlin)
  • Im Reiche des Indra (directors Alfred Schmasov and Leopold Ely ), comic operetta in one act (December 18, 1899); New version (Hans Brennecke) in two acts (1926 Berlin)
  • Fräulein Loreley (Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers), Operetta in one act (October 15, 1900)
  • Lysistrata (directors Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers and Max Neumann), fantastic operetta burlesque in one act (April 1, 1902)
  • Nakiri's Wedding or The Star of Siam (Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers), Set Operetta in Two Acts (Nov. 6, 1902 Berlin, Apollo Theater)
  • Princess Rosine (Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers), Operetta in Two Acts (Nov. 18, 1905)

Also pantomimes were on the agenda as an evening in an American music-hall . The number of seats in the various categories was 1350 people in 1905.

Film successor organizations

In 1913, the company switched to cinema-only operations , which is said to have been expressed in the name of the facility by adding Cines-Apollo . However, the Berlin address book for 1915 still shows the Apollo Theater as well as the Apollo Casino, Theater-Restaurant and Eclipse Kinematograph etc. at Friedrichstrasse 218 . Films-Fabrik Inh. G. Rogers. The builder M. Ziegra is named as the owner of the house, which is also used for residential purposes . In 1920 the Apollo-Theater-Betriebsgesellschaft was found at the same address without any further offshoots; the property is now owned by Neue-Boden-Aktiengesellschaft. In the following years the house had new owners again and again, from 1930 onwards there was no theater company. There are six different film companies for this: Cirepy-Film GmbH , Ines Internationale Filmgesellschaft, Ka-We-Film , Phöbus-Film AG , Star-Film GmbH and Zeit-Film GmbH. Many daring and politically controversial films had their premieres in these small cinemas , for example the 1926 Battleship Potemkin .

The end

In 1930 the cinema was closed and the theater is said to have been used again as a pure speaking stage. But no such theater is entered on Westermann's plan of Berlin from 1932 or in the address book of the same year.

In the years that followed, there was no theater at Friedrichstrasse 218 either, but in 1935, for example, there were still film rental, distribution and export companies. After all, in 1943 only the banking house of Heinz, Tecklenburg & Co. , a property management company, a caretaker and three tenants are located here.

The air raids and fighting towards the end of World War II destroyed the building, which was demolished after the war . When the Berlin city center was rebuilt, a residential building was built at this point. At the end of the 20th century, the Berlin Senate had a commemorative plaque installed at the former location.

Directors and Artistic Directors (selection)

  • Adolph Düssel (1880–1890)
  • J. Luck (1890–)
  • James Klein (1920s)


Web links

Commons : Apollo Theater  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The information from 1870 to 1880 cannot be confirmed on the basis of the Berlin address books of the various years. Apparently there was a house at Friedrichstrasse 218, which initially housed sculptors and up to 11 different families.
  2. Reference book for travel purposes . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1884, Part I, p. 7.
  3. In the article Humor with Bite , from November 1, 1996, the director of the Berlin Apollo Theater is Jacques Glück ( taz.de )
  4. Remembrance of Glück Jacques Glück († August 19, 1916 in Bad Reichenhall) had been the sole director of the Berlin Apollo Theater from 1893 and, after resigning from office in Berlin, came to the Rhine in 1899 to head the Apollo Theater there, in Rheinische Post Hilden, from 19 August 2019 ( pressreader.com )
  5. ^ Deutsche Bauzeitung , 1891, p. 453.
  6. ^ Advertisement in Berlin amusements ; no year
  7. ^ Berliner Leben , 1898
  8. [1] , [2] , [3] In: Berliner Leben , 1900.
  9. Paul Linckes Bühnenwerke ( Memento of the original of May 22, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.operone.de
  10. Actor from Im Reiche des Indra , 1900 : In Berliner Leben , 1900.
  11. Four scenes from An Evening in an American Tingeltangel . In: Berliner Leben , 1908.
  12. Overview plans of the theaters . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1905, before Part 1, p. 41.
  13. Friedrichstrasse 218 . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1915, Part III, p. 258.
  14. Friedrichstrasse 218 . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1920, part 3, p. 261.
  15. Friedrichstrasse 218 . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1930, Part IV, p. 296.
  16. ↑ First performance of the armored cruiser Potemkin in this building according to the later plaque.
  17. ^ Directory of theaters, concert (facilities) and movie theaters . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1932, before Part I, p. 1.
  18. Friedrichstrasse 218 . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1935, Part IV, p. 252.
  19. Friedrichstrasse 218 . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1943, Part IV, p. 253.

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 ′ 17 "  N , 13 ° 23 ′ 26"  E