The “Resi”

The “Resi” was the nickname of a vast, luxurious dance-hall called The Residenz-Casino at Blumentrasse 10, just by Alexanderplatz. At various times in it’s history it has been known as Balhaus Resi, Tanzpalast Resi, Residenz Casino and just plain Resi.

It was built and opened in 1908 by Paul Baatz, but it was in the Weimar Period that the venue really came into its’ own.

The dance-floor was large enough for 1000 people and it’s ceiling made from reflective glass. There were four bars, private rooms and even a carousel.

Above the dance-floor were one hundred mirrored globes which opened and closed to the rhythm of the orchestra, and in 1928 a dancing water feature was installed. In the late 20′s the venue housed 86,000 electric lights!

Its’ most talked about feature were 200 private telephones fixed to tables and various stations around the venue, where customers could contact other tables or flirt anonymously with other patrons.  Guests could also choose from a menu of 135 gift items and have them sent to other patrons via pneumatic delivery tubes (Rohrpoststation) suspended above the tables.

The venue closed just before the war in 1939, but was recreated in 1951 in Kreuzberg at Hasenheide 32, and was hugely popular with British and American servicemen and women.  Once again, it featured the telephones on the tables, the rohrpoststation,  and spectacular water shows created by Otto Przystawik, whose son Michael Przystawik still designs and installs water shows to clubs and venues around the world.

The venue closed in 1978 and the building demolished that same year.

This entry was posted in Not strictly cabaret but.., Venues and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to The “Resi”

  1. Jeanne Thée says:

    Bravo ! Bravo ! Très bons souvenirs… :)
    A l’époque des pneumatiques encore dans les années 1970 !

  2. Jeanne Thée says:

    Le spectacle des jets d’eau , magnifiques , sur la scène !
    Impossible de retrouver ailleurs dans le monde
    une ” Boîte ” de cette Grandeur !! :) :)

  3. Jeremy Stuart-Gray says:

    I was there in 1963…wonderful place. Attending many times, we often found young families bringing their teen daughters and sons to let them dance and meet others. Met many people from all over Europe.

    Thanks for the article!!

  4. John Dixon says:

    As a U.S. Army Lieutenant in 1956 I visited the “Resi.” In addition to using the telephone, I engaged in exchange of messages passed from table to table via the pneumatic tube system. I still have a number of the “Resi ROHRPOST” notes that I have retained over the years. Notes from table 448 to my table 482 included the following messages: “Hello, how do you like the Resi – Wonderful,” “Would yo like to correspond with me,” “My height 1.65, weight 142, blond, blue eys, blue costume,” “Please come you to the table for me, Blue Color.” Being a single guy, I responded to the notes and ultimately ended up meeting and dancing with Blue Color; her name was Edith. A wonderful memory for me.

  5. Jack Murray says:

    I visited the “Raycee” bar in 1974 as part of an American Express “Quickie” tour of Berlin, and was bowled over by the “mechanics” of the place.
    Last year some friends of mine were going to Berlin and I said “you HAVE to go to the “Raycee” bar.” When they both said they couldn’t find it, I was perplexed. I recently read a book by Ian McEwan called “The Innocents” which contained a scene in the “Reci” bar, and I realized my verbal misdirection. If one Googles “Reci” you quickly find some write-ups of the History of this magnificent place, AND the fact that it was demolished in 1978! Someone should build a new one.

  6. Jack Murray says:

    Whoops. Make that “Resi”

  7. I have read the your article about “Resi” as well as the comments with great interest.

    The Allied Museum is currently planning an exhibition on GI clubs in Berlin between 1945 and 1995. “Resi” was one of the hot spots of Allied night life in Berlin until it was closed. We already have a bunch of interesting photographs but we are also looking for other artefacts such as the Rohrpost note that was mentioned in one of the earlier posts.

    If you feel that you could contribute anything please contact me under pauls@alliiertenmuseum.de

  8. Art Schroeder hdq co 6th. late 57 to April 59 says:

    The Resi bar, first place that I was brought to after the one week quarantine for new arrivals. Don’t forget the KBS, the white elephant, the golden horseshoe the re fi fi, the green lantern “green latrine”, the latter plots casino, the sports pallis, bob hope at true man hall free university, etc.

  9. I was in Berlin as a 5 year old when finally the war was ended and I survived. My best years in the proceedings years growing up as a teenager were going to “RESI” to dance, the rohrpost and all the wonderful notes and gifts I received. Of course, the Wasserspiele were spectacular. I met my first love there.
    I live in the USA now and have not encountered anything like it here.

  10. Brigitte Anckaitis says:

    I too lived with my family in Berlin when the war finally ended. As a teenager, I spent many lovely evenings in Resi. Too bad it was taken down. I live in the USA with three grown children. My life is filled with wonderful memories, and I would like to remenice……

    Best Wishes…..

  11. Brigitte Anckaitis says:

    I would love to hear from some one, who used to live in Berlin when the war ended.

    See my previous message.

  12. Charles says:

    I was there, at the Resi, in 1964. It was a Fascinating experience. I was alone, but soon met up with a beautiful German lady. He sent me a note via the tube, asking me to rescue her from her blind date. It was fun until her friends dragged her out against her will. Then another G.I. Called me to help him out as he had met four German girls. Finally met some American girls from NY city and had a blast with them. They put me into a cab and I got back safely to my hotel. I had way too much to drink. I was in Berlin In 2005, and my friend showed me where the Resi had been, and it has been replaced with residential housing. Agree, it would be great thing if a new RESI were build in Berlin. I would happily return.

  13. Thomas S. Simone says:

    A few friends and I being stationed in Ulm, took our special order papers through the Russian check point established during the cold war and traveled, via vw bug, thrugh the Russian zone.(no picture taking allowed) to Berlin. Fortunately we wound up one evening at The “Resi”. That was sixty years ago in 1954 and I had so much fun there that I can still remember that night as if it were 10 minutes ago. Each table had a place mat that gave you the phone number at all the rest of the tables along with telephones and pneumatic tube for sending written messages to any table. This fabulous room centered with a dance floor. Every town in the world should have a place like the “Risi” to help bring exciting new communications avalable to the front for old and young alike

  14. Jack Peverill says:

    I was stationed in Berlin in 1956. The RESI was the best thing since Sadie Hawkim’s day with hundreds of Daisy Mays! There was a shortage of men, so it was quite flattering to be called on the phone. This was a somewhat more elegant place than the Jazz cellars. You dressed up and so did the girls; you drank German wine(not cheap for Germans), etc. The water show was a gas! You can see it in the spy thriller film with James Mason. I went back in the 70′s. It was a time-warp period- piece with doting dads bringing their deb-age daughters to see what it was like in the good old days. It is now gone. What a beautiful memory of may nights on the town! For a young GI dollars, it was paradise!with

  15. Walt Celmer says:

    The Resi Bar was my best experience ion Germany. 3 years of military 61 – 63 and the best week was spent at the RESI!! Need to have this place rebuilt today. Was the best Club ever.

    Anyone know what year it was closed and/or demolished?

  16. BOB DITTMEIER says:

    Hi Art Schroeder
    I was stationed in Berlin 1957-59 McNair Medical Company.Like to touch base.
    Bob

  17. Arthur Greenspan says:

    I was stationed in Berlin from 1957 to 1959. The Resi was our home at all times, and I remember it as it were yesterday. What a blast! My best friend Jim Hutton (later became a successful movie and TV star) would spend hours at the Resi, drinking, talking, checking out the ladies, and all that that incurs. It was fabulous , especially for a 19 year old kid from New York. All great memories!
    HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

  18. Lawrence tassone (tazz) says:

    From 1958 thru dec 1961 I was stationed at Wiesbaden Air Base and Lindsey Air Station with EAME AACS HQs/flight Facilities Directorate. Weekend hops on 3 day passes were routine. The resi bar was one of my all time favorite pick up locales. If you could speak German and could dance, Bingo! The world was yours. Due to the lack of German men of all ages, the thousands of German and east European refugee women, and the favorable exchange rate of 4.24 DM to the dollar, it was the best of times. I also frequented the old Eden saloon which was a wonderfully weird joint with multiple 16mm and 8 mm projectors playing risqué (for the time) movies and was a great pickup place. Lastly I remember well The Riverboat Club which was located on the 4th or 5th floor of a business building. You tooh an elevator to their floor, found a doorway where you paid an eintritts fee (3 DM) and entered into dance paradise with 5 large rooms each with a large dance floor and 5 different kinds of dance music while surrounded by faux American New Orleans style riverboat decor. Each room had a bar and it was always packed with dance-hungry frauleins. Unfortunately, my last memory of Berlin was the night the wall went up. The night prior we were at the resi until 11:30 then I and two buddies escorted three young East German ladies home. I came back thru checkpoint Charlie about 2:30 am and went to the Templehof hotel where we were billeted during our visits. About 4:30 am I heard noise in the hallway and opened my door to complain. I found the puts frauds huddled around a black and whit small t,v, in their cleaning supply clost chattering about Vopos, stockledraad (barbed wire) and a mauer (wall). Minutes later my room phone rang with word we were departing post haste and to get to our aircraft (C54) Pronto. One of my two buddies got caught behind the wire and didn’t get released for. Week. I want to return to see the new Berlin soon. In fact as I write this he and his new fiancée are in Berlin visiting after ther engagement.

  19. Bernard Allen says:

    My father finished the war in Berlin and we lived there from Spring 1946 to Autumn 1947. As a family we attended the Resi Bar many times during that period, and I remember, at the age of 12, getting messages from other tables, by phone and by the message tube system. There were British, American and French personnel in the audience, but I do not remember any Russians, although they certainly used the military trains which we all used to travel from Berlin to the West, to Cologne, Paris and Brussels on leave.
    I really enjoyed my time there, although it did nothing for my formal education!

  20. paul young says:

    I was stationed Berlin (1954 thru 1958). I bought a 1949 Buick, canary yellow in color,
    and turned to be the guy in the big yellow auto. I am pretty sure there was not a bar in Berlin that I was not familiar with at that time. I went back to Germany and France two times since but never visited Berlin and still I don’t know why. I guess everyone had chances to do things and never did them. In my case it was like turning a fox loose
    in a hen house. Just thinking back, and I have been to a lot of towns in a lot of countries, Berlin was the best. I spoke the language fairly well. Women were plentiful
    and bars were full of women. I knew bars that you could walk in and there were no men, only young women sitting around tables. All you had to do was call one over
    and take her out to a hotel and you know the rest, honestly no lie. Mexico was the same way. I used to go down there quite often. I used to be able to tell you everything
    about the city of Berlin but I am 79 years old now and in poor health, my memory has
    lapse somewhat. Like to touch base with anyone about Berlin. Resi Bar was a nice
    bar but I can tell you some that were much better!!!

  21. felix dorough says:

    As young usaf 1st lt stationed at landstuhl-ramstein afb 1956-58 I had two resi visits. first with base soccer team(I was coach/manager) in berlin to play local team during 1957 film fest. jut as team bus unloaded at resi who but henry fonda(twelve angry men) showed up. one airman sought autograph but for lack ofpencil/pen lost the chance. my secnd visit a year later alone in my little blue mga I wound up with cute Hungarian refugee gal(fled 1956 soviet takeover). her flat had holen ceiling so we could see stars…she used pots for rainy day. another great gi venue in wiebaden was the Valhalla known to all as the hog wallow. even saw elvs there one night..what a thrill for the german gals.

  22. Mel Prokity says:

    In 1955 I was a sailor in Bremerhaven, and chosen to march in the Armed Forces Day parade at Tempelhof. That night, many of use went to the Resi, and I met a lovely lady, Helga, who later became my wife. We went back in 1968, spent an evening in the Resi with friends, but, of course, the Gemütlichkeit was not the same. We’ve been married 57 years; the Resi will always have the best of memories for us.

  23. Peter says:

    Ich selbst kenne das Resi leider nicht .Habe aber noch eine Eintrittskarte vom 28.07.1938. Ich gehe mal davon aus,dass mein Grossvater als junger Mann dort eingekehrt ist.

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