Classic Hamburg variety theatre
In 1894 Paul Wilhelm Grell opened a theatre on this spot in the Steindamm – very close to much that is gay and wonderful in modern-day Hamburg – and vaudeville dominated the bill for much of the last century. However the war took its toll on the Hansa, destroyed in 1943, but the present plush replacement continued in the same vein, with magicians, cabaret artists, clowns and performing elephants and horses among the stage acts alongside the likes of Hans Albers, Charly Wittong, the Wolf Brothers, Josephine Baker, Fritzi Massary and Wilhelm Bendow. At one time the motto was "never on TV". Following years of decline the theatre went dormant in 2001, but reopened in 2009, still owned by the Grell family though under the domain and care of Thomas Collien and Ulrich Waller, who also run the St Pauli near the Reeperbahn. The season of this special Hamburg institution runs from October until February.