Show booth

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Comedians and showmen booths in Hamburg around 1800

Wooden show booths , game booths or comedian booths were the weather-proof event location for all types of folk theater as well as for showmen and puppeteers up to the 19th century. Because there weren't enough large tents available, circus performances were also held in large stalls . Wandering menageries displayed their collections of exotic creatures in temporary animal huts made from animal cages, boards and tarpaulins. There are still stalls in amusement parks today .

Since the artists traveled throughout, their show booths had to be transported and rebuilt. Since the late Middle Ages, the locations for these wooden structures have been marketplaces such as the Parisian Foires Saint-Germain and Saint-Laurent , and later the Vienna Prater or Hamburg's Spielbudenplatz .

Often several wooden stalls were built in a row. In order to counteract the increased risk of larger fires , as well as better official control possibilities , the comedian booths, as in the case of the Parisian boulevard theaters , the Viennese suburban theaters or the Königsstädtischer theater in Berlin, were increasingly replaced by "stone theaters ". In addition, the bourgeois population strove for entertainment venues that resembled the magnificent court theaters. The emancipation from the show booths was a social advancement for the performers as well as for the audience . The move to the Paris Opéra-Comique by Charles-Simon Favart's troupe was symbolic of this .

The first cinemas developed from show booths , for example the Kino Klein in Vienna.


  • Roland Dreßler: From the show stage to the moral school. The theater audience in front of the fourth wall. Henschel, Berlin 1993. ISBN 3894871814
  • Isabel Matthes: "Dedicated to the general association" - Public theater construction in Germany between the Enlightenment and the Vormärz. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1995. ISBN 3484660163
  • Rolf-Peter Baacke: Movie theater architecture in Germany - from the show booth to the cinema palace. Frölich & Kaufmann, Berlin 1982. ISBN 3887250419

Web links

Wiktionary: Schaubude  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations