Ufa Palace at the Zoo

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The Ufa Palace at the Zoo, around 1935

The Ufa-Palast am Zoo was the most significant Uraufführungs - movie theater of the Universum Film AG (UFA) in Berlin . It was opened in Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1919 and was one of the crowd pullers in Berlin's New West until it was destroyed in World War II .


Exhibition halls at the Zoological Garden (left), 1906

The building at Hardenbergstrasse 29 was designed by Carl Gause based on the “ first ” and “ second ” Romanesque houses by Franz Schwechten , not far from Auguste-Viktoria-Platz . In the years 1905 to 1907 it was built as an exhibition hall at the zoological garden . The building contained two large halls with surrounding galleries. In 1912 Arthur Biberfeld (1874–1959) converted the western hall on behalf of the Cines Film Company for the performance of the world hit Quo Vadis? into a movie theater. Between 1913 and 1914 the movie theater, which could also be used for stage performances, was called the Cines Palace . The architect Max Bischoff (1875 – after 1929) expanded it in 1919 to a cinema with 1740 seats for Ufa. It opened on September 18, 1919 with the premiere of the film Madame Dubarry by Ernst Lubitsch .

The hall had a rectangular shape and was simply designed. For the audience it was equipped with two- story proscenium boxes. The seats were arranged in a horseshoe shape and the stage wall was clad with faience panels. Carl Stahl-Urach (1879–1933) enlarged the hall in 1925 to 2165 seats. He also received a light organ . The Ufa-Palast was the largest cinema in Germany until the opening of the Ufa-Palast in Hamburg with 2200 seats in 1929.

In the following years the outer wall was used for advertising. First of all, light displays and large posters were installed. The facade was later given changing cladding. On the occasion of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Franz Pöcher , a private employee of Albert Speer , carried out an extensive redesign of the exterior cladding in a simplified classicist style.

The building was completely destroyed in an Allied air raid on Berlin on November 23, 1943. In 1957, the Zoo Palast was built on the same site as a successor .

World premieres (selection)

Weimar Republic

1933 until the beginning of the war

Second World War


  • Gabriele Silbereisen: The Ufa-Palast in the exhibition halls at the Zoo Hardenbergstraße 29a – e . In: Helmut Engel (ed.): Geschistorlandschaft Berlin. Places and events. Vol. 1. Charlottenburg. Part 2. The new west . Nicolai, Berlin 1985, ISBN 978-3-87584-143-5 , pp. 275-298.

Web links

Commons : Ufa-Palast am Zoo  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ufa-Palast at www.zlb.de
  2. Regina Kusch: Flagship with spectacular cinema premieres. In: Calendar sheet (broadcast on DLF ). September 18, 2019, accessed September 17, 2019 .
  3. L'Estrange Fawcett: The World of Film. Amalthea-Verlag, Zurich, Leipzig, Vienna 1928, p. 122 (translated by C. Zell, supplemented by S. Walter Fischer)

Coordinates: 52 ° 30 ′ 22 ″  N , 13 ° 20 ′ 3 ″  E