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Deutsches Schauspielhaus (Official)
Previous Names: Garrison Theatre
Located in the St. Georg district in the east of the city centre, opposite the main Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (railway station). The Deutsches Schauspielhaus was opened on 15th September 1900 with a performance of Goethe’s “Iphigenia on Tauris”. The theatre was designed in a splendid Baroque style by Viennese based architects Ferdinand Fellner & Hermann Helmer and it was modelled on the Vienna Burgtheater.
It was independently operated until the Third Reich came into power in 1932 when it was taken over by the State. All Jewish theatre staff were immediately dismissed and Jewish performers, and playwriters were banned. In September 1944 all theatres in Germany were closed. During World War II the theatre had suffered some bomb damage, but it was with the help of the in-house air-raid guard that it survived enough to be returned used as a theatre. However, the end of hostilities initially brought about a temporary use as an armaments warehouse. In November 1945 it was taken over by the British army and renamed Garrison Theatre. This brought back live theatre use with light entertainment and films to entertain the occupying troops. In 1948 it was handed back to new owners and began a new life as one of the main live playhouse theatres in Hamburg.
In 1971 the former scenery workshop was converted into a second performance space named the Malersaal, which staged experimental theatre works. From 1982 to 1984 the theatre was closed for renovations.
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