A backyard extension for Bertolt Brecht

A little known link to Bertolt Brecht in a Berlin courtyard

If you're lucky enough to get a peek at this lovely private courtyard, you'll not only discover a leafy hidden oasis, but also a Berlin curiosity linked to none other than renowned dramatist Bertolt Brecht.

The so-called Filmkabine is a simple, single-windowed extension on the courtyard's back wall - a wall which also happens to be shared by the Schiffbauerdamm Theatre, a magnificent playhouse used by Brecht from 1954 (and still home to his famed Berliner Ensemble company).

Bertolt Brecht and his 'secret' film cabin, Berlin

Bertolt Brecht. Image credit:

The Schiffbauerdamm Theatre, home to Brecht's Berliner Ensemble - and a little known remnant of Brecht's artistic practice

Schiffbauerdamm Theatre. Image credit: Beek100/

The annexe was built when it was discovered that the length of the theatre was insufficient to completely fill the stage with film projections. By extending outwards just a little, optimal viewing could be accomplished.

If you're wondering why movies needed to be shown in a theatre, Brecht was one of the first directors to mix film with stage action, and continued to use this technique throughout his career.

These days, the Filmkabine is no longer in operation, but remains in place as a listed monument. An ordinary-looking structure that provides a fascinating link to one of the 20th century's most extraordinary cultural figures.

Brecht's Filmkabine: courtyard of Albrechtstra├če 15, 10117 Berlin.


See also:
An amazing expressionist theatre
The unbuilt architectural masterpiece of Friedrichstrasse
German theatre - in translation
Silent movies with live organ accompaniment

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