Beautiful Berlin cabaret theatre discovered under 20 tonnes of rubble

Picture essay: From the glory days of Weimar republic to dilapidated disrepair

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The Independent Culture

Builders clearing 20 tonnes of rubble uncovered an old cabaret theatre in the heart of east Berlin dating from 1905.

Having been a glittering stop on the city's social horizon during the Golden Era of the Weimar Republic, the beautiful ballroom building closed for an unknown reason in the 1930s - perhaps part of a crackdown on the cabaret scene by the Nazis.

After lying empty and derelict, being used as a dumping ground for World War II rubbish which shrouded the building's delicate frescoes, curving staircases and once mirrored walls, the Gartenstrasse-based music hall, which lay neglected in the communist east of the city post-war, is now a weathered testimony to a tumultuous period of history.

But its sorry state is set to improve with the help of visionary architects Moritz Gruppe which have acquired the old theatre and intend to restore the three-storey space into studios, performance and exhibition venues.

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