Night club

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Outdoor advertising of the Latin American "Panamerican Night Club" ( Los Angeles / USA )

A nightclub, and night club, night bar or nightclub English nightclub, is usually an entertainment company that is open until late at night or into the early hours.


The bar of the former Berlin night club / brothel Bel Ami

The night clubs include bars and eateries that offer classical entertainment such as music and dancing. The latter are thus similar to discos , which today often operate under the term “Klub” or “Club”. Sometimes in night clubs there are also theater, cabaret or comedy performances, similar to revue theaters . The entertainment offers can also be erotic or sexual, such as in strip clubs and brothels . The transitions are often fluid.

A gastronomic offer with drinks and sometimes also food is available for all types. In addition to the usual, often “exclusive”, mostly high-priced drinks, such as sparkling wine or champagne, as well as mostly diverse types of spirits are offered . Often animation ladies and partly also barkeepers (barmaids) ensure a high drink turnover for the mostly male guests.

In night clubs with erotic or sex activities, this includes targeted entertainment and animation, such as gogo dance , table dance and live shows with striptease . Sometimes a whirlpool and sauna are also offered, as well as erotic massages and sexual services in the field of prostitution . Some night clubs also offer an escort service as well as home and hotel visits.

Night clubs are generally accessible to both genders, although in clubs with erotic offers such as table dance or striptease, depending on the performers, mostly male guests can be found. Establishments with a sexual offer such as brothels are almost exclusively visited by men.

There are also special night clubs for gays and lesbians, the tourist portal of a German company informs about this explicitly for Prague.

Nightclubs are often associated with ideas of a special ambience and a certain atmosphere ("twilight, obscure decoration, music that makes the floor vibrate, and expensive drinks"), and they are often formative for the nightlife , especially in large cities, where they partly also stand for “wickedness”.

Legal situation in Germany

Night clubs in Germany are subject to general catering law . The establishment and the ongoing operation, management and working there must, among other things the federal Licensing Act (Licensing Act) or if available, the relevant national licensing act, and ancillary provisions as other sufficient commercial and administrative regulations for restaurants. In addition to the usual restaurant license for running a restaurant and serving alcohol , night clubs or their operators usually require a "night club license" for opening hours at night or as an exception to any curfew regulations to ensure general night time . In nightclubs with a range of food items, the preparation of the meals and the storage of the food must comply with the relevant food , administrative and commercial regulations.

Night clubs with brothels are subject to the Prostitution Act and, in some cases, statutory regulations for brothel operators .

In terms of the protection of minors , night clubs as well as night bars and comparable entertainment establishments are viewed as places that are harmful to minors . The legislator has taken this into account in the Youth Protection Act (JuSchG). According to Section 4 (3) JuSchG, children and young people are not allowed to stay in restaurants that are run as night bars or night clubs and in comparable entertainment establishments .

The above-mentioned laws, ancillary provisions and regulations are regulated in Germany at various levels of the state, i.e. at federal, state and municipal levels. They can therefore differ from state to state and from municipality to municipality.


Night view of the Reeperbahn - a particularly large number of night bars are located here
Single night bar in Dresden- Pieschen
Adult performance in a nightclub in Seattle , USA

"City life is nightlife", especially in big cities, was the motto of the German sex researcher Iwan Bloch as early as 1905 , and the German cultural scientist Joachim Schlör described in his cultural and social-historical study Night in the big city the "night street as a place of alluring fascination". In his further study, Wenn es wird Nacht, Schlör collected literary texts as examples of sensations and impressions in the big city at night.

The Cologne radio editor and author Michael Kohtes undertook nightlife in his publication . Topography of vice a socio-psychological expedition through pubs, night clubs and night clubs and described nocturnal debauchery as a rebellion of the "full socialized man" against the "daily demands of existence and thought", as a longing for "asylum in the crowd" ( Walter Benjamin ) . According to the reviewer Hans-Joachim Ballschmieter, Kohtes also promotes “understanding for the excessive lifestyle of many outsiders and interprets this as a rejection of any form of bourgeois hypocrisy”.

In this context, nightclubs are a popular setting for scenarios and actions in art and culture, especially in novels , detective novels and erotic literature , in film as well as in music and theater plays, as the following examples show:

  • The plot of the well-known US film Casablanca with the main actors Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman , which was directed by Michael Curtiz in 1942 , takes place largely in the fictional nightclub Rick's Café Américain in Casablanca, North Africa .
  • The English-language novel Strip Tease by the American writer Carl Hiaasen , published in 1993 and published as a translation under the German title Nachtclub , served as a template for the film Striptease , which was filmed in the USA in 1996 by Andrew Bergmann with the leading actors Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds has been. The book and film deal with the story of a former FBI secretary who earns the money for a custody suit for her daughter as a striptease dancer in the fictional nightclub Eager Beaver , where a congressman as a guest of the club meets her and falls for her.
  • The American jazz singer and pianist Patricia Barber produced her album Nightclub on Blue Note Records in 2000 , which contains jazz and pop standards and achieved a good billboard listing. The individual tracks on the album mostly deal with relationships between men and women, some of which take place in night clubs.
  • In his controversial play by 1975, Garbage, the City and Death , put Rainer Werner Fassbinder a key scene in a nightclub, where it to the meeting of the "rich Jew" with the work there father of street whore is he for the murder blaming his own parents during the Nazi era. The play was filmed in 1976 under the direction of Daniel Schmid; Fassbinder himself played the whore's pimp .

Well-known night clubs

Examples of well-known nightclubs and discos are:


  • Rebecca Pates et al. a .: The administration of prostitution. A comparative study using the example of German, Polish and Czech municipalities . Verlag Transcript, Bielefeld 2009 (= Gender Studies), ISBN 978-3-8376-1117-5 , pp. 166 ff., 202 ff.
  • Burton William Peretti: Nightclub city. Politics and amusement in Manhattan . University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007, ISBN 9780812239973 (English).
  • Ulrich Reinhardt (author), Horst W. Opaschowski a . a. (Ed.): Leisure industry. The leading economy of the future . Lit Verlag, Münster 2007 (= Vol. 2 of: Future, Education, Quality of Life ), ISBN 978-3-8258-9297-5 , p. 294.
  • Hans Joachim Schneider : Criminology for the 21st Century. Priorities and progress in international criminology. Overview and discussion . Lit Verlag, Münster 2001 (= Vol. 5 of: Words, Works, Utopias ), ISBN 3-8258-3867-6 , p. 34 ff.
  • Marcel Feige (ed.): The lexicon of prostitution. The whole ABC of lust. Buyable love in culture, society and politics . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-89602-520-1 , u. a. P. 323 ff., 506 ff. (Collection of articles).

Web links

Wiktionary: Night club  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Nachtlokal  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jonas Ridderstråle, Kjell Nordström: Karaoke Capitalism. Fitness and sex appeal for tomorrow's business . Redline Wirtschaft, Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-636-03043-4 , p. 17.
  2. ^ Horst Bosetzky : West Berlin: Memories of an island child . 1st edition, Jaron-Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-89773-531-6 , p. 86 ff.
  3. ^ Restaurant Act of May 5, 1970 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 465, 1298) (GastG)
  4. ^ Text of the Prostitution Act
  5. Text of the Youth Protection Act
  6. Cf. Joachim Schlör : At night in the big city . Munich 1991, p. 206.
  7. Joachim Schlör: At night in the big city. Paris, Berlin, London 1840–1930 . Artemis and Winkler, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-7608-1931-1 .
  8. Joachim Schlör: When night falls. Forays through the big city . Reclam, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-15-008951-4 .
  9. Michael Kohtes : Nightlife. Topography of vice . Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-458-16614-9 .