Rote Flora

Schulterblatt 71,
Hamburg 20357

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Additional Info

Architects: Hans Schneider

Functions: Cultural Center

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Gesellschafts und Concerthaus Flora, Chrystallpalast, Flora Filmtheater

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Rote Flora

Located in the Sternschanze district of Alstadt Altona in the north of the city centre. The Gesellschafts und Concerthaus Flora was opened in 1889. It had 1,500-seats and was founded by Theodor Mutzenbecher and Lerch. The Flora replaced the Tivoli Summer Gartentheater and the name Flora was inspired by a ship named Barke Flora which was in use as a famous dance hall and was closed in 1888. The Flora contained a cafe, dance hall, rooms for private parties and a Wintergarten. Later the Flora expanded and a concert hall named Chrystallpalast was built. The concert hall was famous for its ceiling called ‘Sternenhimmel’(heaven full of stars) which contained hundreds of electric bulbs. Around 1900 movie screenings were part of the revue and variety shows.

In 1926 a small cinema and variety hall was added to part of the Flora, but it closed at the end of the 1920’s. Live theatre performances continued in the Concerthaus Flora until 1943 when during World War II the Flora was in use for storage and as a bunker. The Flora was not badly damaged and was re-opened soon after the end of World War II as a cinema, named Flora Filmtheater.

The Flora Filmtheater had 1,000-seats and was operated by Betzel & Battmer. The architect of the Flora Filmtheater cinema was Hans Schneider. In 1956 CinemaScope was added and the FP 6 projectors were by Phillips. The cinema closed in 1962.

In 1964 it was converted into retail use as a discount hardware store named 1,000 Topfe (1,000 pots). In 1988 parts of the historic building were demolished, but the facade and front section remained intact.

In 1998 the building was re-named Rota Flora and began use as a cultural centre, offering space for cultural and political events. The project is financed by donation and fundraising events and is administrated independently.

Contributed by Ken Roe, Kinospoter
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