The Scala

The Scala was built in 1920 by a consortium of 9 wealthy Jewish business people, including the Dutch aviation pioneer Anton Fokker. It was situated at Lutherstraße 22-24 on the corner of Augsburgerstraße , now Martin-Luther Straße 12 – 14 at the corner of Fuggerstraße.

It was hugely successful and rapidly became the most famous Vaudeville stage in Germany and by 1941 the country’s largest.

It survived surprisingly well during the early years of National Socialism but it was the realities of the 2nd World War that brought an end to the militaristic ‘kick-lines’ of the Hiller Girls, as they were deemed “frivolous and tasteless entertainment” at a time of national crisis.

Goebbels final decree against the cabaret scene on March 14th 1941  banned any stage references to public events or personalities. This decree also banned the role of ‘Conferencier’ ,or MC, thereby reducing the cabaret to an unconnected string of song and dance numbers. This decree destroyed the last vestiges of the cabaret form leaving only variety acts and female dancers and models. Even they did not survive much longer, all remaining cabaret stages were closed by Goebbels at the end of August 1944.

The building was mostly destroyed on the night of November 22nd 1943, but remained partly in use by The Voles cabaret troupe until it was finally demolished in the 1960′s.

The site of the  foyer area is now occupied by a menswear shop, apartments and an Imbiss. The stage and auditorium, a huge car park to the rear.

This entry was posted in History, Venues and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Scala

  1. Lilo Karow says:

    I was there, on Nov.22, 43, below the stage in an artist dressing room, sheltered from the bombing. Made it too, barely.

  2. Ian Sayer says:

    Hello Lilo
    I’ve just acquired some wartime photos of the Scala and the artists appearing there. Since you were there in 1943 I wonder if you might like to see them and help me identify some of the performers who are unnamed?
    Best wishes

  3. Udo Fischer says:

    Das waren schlimmes Tage! Unsure Wohnung in Reinckendorf-West wired durch eine Bombe zrstoert. Z.Zt. war Ich Reichsbahn Lehrling in Tegel. 1959 von Gifhorn Zurich USA ausgewandert.

  4. Dan Rothwell. says:

    I came across a letter dated 1938 and written by an English girl called Lillian who was performing for the Tropical Express at the Scala, Berlin. I would be interested if anybody has any more information on her.

  5. I am a writer and psychologist interested in the careera of Erik Hanussen a magician and self-styled clairvoyant who performed at the Scala during the twenties and early thirties. I would be most grateful to hear from any one who has any information about him and his act. You can reply in English, French or German. Many thanks

  6. Anne says:

    Super interesting site. Am researching Berlin between the wars for a project, can anyone tell me what was on for the opening of the Scala in 1920 please?

  7. Craig Endicott says:

    In response to Dan Rothwells’ comment. I have a great Aunt Lillian who performed as part of the revue Tropical Express at the Scala.

  8. I am researching the life of Erik Hanussen an illusionist who was a headliner at the Scala during the 30′s. Does anyone have any information on this performer, I would be most interested if you have. Also if Anne (e-mail Feb 6 2016) has completed her project on Berlin between the wars and it is available to a fellow researcher, do please contact me.

  9. Kozhuharova says:

    My grandmother was from The Scala team. I have from her some photos.
    But I do not know the exact years when she danced there.
    She was from Bulgaria and I know that her artistic’s name was Dantchenka Cingarella, or something like this.
    I can scan some from photos for this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>