Torture Garden Berlin

When: 29/02/2020

Where: METROPOL Berlin

Nollendorfplatz 5, 10777 Berlin, Germany

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About the venue: METROPOL

 

It is often said that ‘a picture can say more than a thousand words’ and this is certainly true about this venue. There is nothing you can write that will do this place or palace justice.

 

The "new Schauspielhaus am Nollendorfplatz", today's METROPOL was built by the KaDeWe architects Boswau & Knauer and completed in 1906, the house was used as a theatre and concert hall. The theatre had 1108 seats, and in the front part of the building was the Mozart Hall, which was completely covered with mahogany wood and was intended to appeal to the imperial court and rich bourgeoisie with pompous decoration. 


Metropol is located in Nollendorfplatz and most conveniently opposite the U-bahn station (U1, U2, U3 & U4). The station built in 1902, features a rainbow triangle roof as a monument to the homosexuals persecuted and killed by the Nazis.

 

It is easy to make the mistake that it is today a gay district of Berlin but from its construction, Nollendorfplatz offered a home to European homosexuals escaping from persecution and facing imprisonment in their own countries.

 

Christopher Isherwood, the British author who wrote ‘Goodbye Berlin (1939), a semi-autobiographical novel that inspired the musical and film ‘Cabaret’ which introduced us to the famous ‘Kit Kat Klub’ lived no more than a stone’s throw from Metropol. After predicting the atrocities about to be committed by the Nazis Isherwood emigrated to America where he wrote ‘Single Man’ (1964) adapted into a book by Tom Ford. He wrote ‘Christopher and his kind’ (1974)   a memoir which ‘carried´ him to the heart of the Gay Liberation Movement.

 

As early as 1911, the Mozartsaal at Metropol became a cinema and in 1927 Erwin Piscator reopened the Schauspielhaus under the name "Theater am Nollendorfplatz". It was equipped with what was then the most modern stage in Europe. There was also a beautiful beer and wine restaurant with garden and a rotatable stage for the summer cultural events.

 

When the political upheavals shook Berlin in 1930, the frivolous and provocative program of the house quickly became a thorn in the side of the new regime.

Initially they used white mice and stink bombs but the methods to deal with this behaviour escalated and the venue was soon subordinate to the competent authority and was renamed in 1942 in the "Nollendorf Palace".

 

During the Second World War, the building was badly damaged and this is evident today in some rooms. After the war, the Mozart Hall, under the name New Scala, served as a general-purpose space for large screenings and less successful variety and revue performances.

 

From 1951, the house was again used exclusively as a movie theatre and gained its well-known name Metropol.

 

 

In the late 1980s, the Metropol was one of the most famous nightclubs in Berlin with its unique laser show.

 

During the week there were often concerts: Depeche Mode played here their first Berlinkonzert to their debut LP. The human league, OMD, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Front 242 and other musicians also performed here.

 

In 2000, the taboo-breaking KitKat Club briefly moved to the Metropol.

 

In 2005, the Metropol was converted with great media interest into the noble dining and dance club GOYA. The conversion to designs by Hans Kollhoff cost eleven million euros. Behind the project was a public limited company, which financed it and in which numerous celebrities participated. Only a few months after the opening, GOYA AG closed its doors again.

 

In 2007 the house was reopened and redeveloped - life returned to the ancient walls.

Part of the refurbishment involved decorating the walls with white leather. 

 

In 2008, Miley Cyrus gave her Germany-wide first concert at the GOYA.

 

Until 2014, the house with its various rooms, impressive galleries and the extraordinary ambience was used primarily as an exclusive club and event location. Basically this means the venue lay dormant but would only occasionally open its doors a couple of times per year for random events.

 

Trinity Music the current owners of Metropol wrote on their website,

‘Since autumn 2019, the house at Nollendorfplatz 5 has been carrying its traditional name "METROPOL" again and used as an event location, concert playing area and for selected parties’.

 

Torture Garden has been ‘selected’, we are the chosen few. Join us.

 

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© 2019 by TORTURE GARDEN BERLIN