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The Renaissance-Theater in Berlin's Hardenbergstrasse is the only Art-Déco-Theater in Europe in original condition. The building was constructed in 1902 as the Motivhaus, the headquarters of an academic club the Akademische Verein Motiv. In 1919 it became a cinema, but was used as theater from 1922 - an unusual occurrence at the time. The first production, Ephraim Lessing's Miss Sara Sampson directed by Theodor Tagger , was opened on October 18, 1922. In July 1926 architect Oskar Kaufmann was charged with remodelling the former cinema into a proper theater and it was reopened just five months later, on January 8th 1927.

The theater was closed in 1933 following the Nazi Party's accession to power, and in 1937 the building was partially occupied by the Reichsschrifttumskammer, the literary department of Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry. Following the end of the Second World War, it beca,e the first theater to resume productions with the opening of Raub der Sabinerinnen, a comedy by Franz und Paul von Schönthan, on May 27, 1945. Proper productions commenced in December 1946 after the theater was granted a licence by the British occupation authorities.

In the post-war period the theater has gone from strength to strength and is now an established part of Berlin's cultural scene. Actors and actresses who have played at the theatre include Tilla Durieux, Curt Goetz, O. E. Hasse, Hubert von Meyerinck, Otto Sander, Olga Tschechowa and Helene Weigel.

The building itself was given listed status. In front of the theater is the "Entenbrunnen" (Duck Fountain), created in 1911 by August Gaul.



Knesebeckstraße 100
10623 Berlin
Tel.: (030) 31 59 73-0
Fax: (030) 315 97 3-40

Lehmanns Fachbuchhandlung (0.0 km), Schropp Land & Karte (0.1 km), Ernst-Reuter-Platz (Station) (0.2 km), Paraguayan Embassy (0.3 km), Books in Berlin (Bookshop) (0.5 km), Knesebeckstraße (0.7 km), Savignyplatz (Station) (0.7 km), Nepalese Embassy (0.7 km), Straße des 17. Juni (Flea market) (0.7 km)