on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 27 Jul


von: Jan Reetze Filed under: Blog | TB | 4 Comments



Not a water tank or a gasometer. This is the SCHILLEROPER in Hamburg-Altona — a construction made from steel and corrugated metal, erected in 1892 as a residential circus building, the only circus with a ring that could be flooded for a water ballet.

In the 1920s, it became an opera house, a theater and varieté, Hans Albers had his first stage appearences here. During the Nazi era the building was used as a meeting place by the local SS as well as by communists, which led to brawls and shootings sometimes, and then, after the war … nothing really happened anymore.

Nobody had an idea what to do with this complex of buildings. In the 1970s, the buildings around the rotunda, the former foyer and artist’s dressing rooms were used as dwelling for Italian „guest workers“, as they were called then, later it became a restaurant which had to be closed after a while because of illegal gambling. It became a music club, and when that failed …



This is how the building looks today. It cannot be torn down because the steel construction is under protection, but the whole complex is so down and out … I’m sure today’s owners (a community of heirs) is simply waiting till the whole building breaks down by itself.

This has always been the way Hamburg uses to deal with its cultural treasures.

This entry was posted on Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Lajla:

    Was für eindrückliche Fotos! Könnte eher im tiefsten Osten aufgenommen sein.

    Shame on the Peppersacks! Ist Hamburg verschuldet? Diese Erbengemeinschaft arm?

    Manchmal ist ein Abriss unbezahlbar.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Studies of decay – warum immer Venedig?

    Fennesz sollte hier artist in residence werden :)

  3. Lorenz:

    Im weitesten Sinne dazu passend: eine tolle Fotostrecke über das Ruhrgebiet in den 80er Jahren. Vom Fotografen selbst nach Jahrzehnten erst wiederentdeckt – mit wachem Blick für die kleinen, großen Dinge. Obwohl ich noch nie dort war sehr anrührend und für Menschen, die dort aufgewachsen sind sicher noch mehr. Ohne das formale Korsett von den Bechers – sondern Menschen sind der Mittelpunkt.

  4. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Ich kenne diesen Ruhrgebietler gar nicht. Ganz spannende Fotostrecke. Ich war, als „Heimkehrer“, von 83 an, wieder für lange im Pott, in Dortmund.

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