Monuments in Berlin

'International' movie theaterfill'Zoo Palast' movie theater

"International" movie theater
Berlin-Mitte, Karl-Marx-Allee 33,
1961-64 by Josef Kaiser, Heinz Aust,
Günter Kunert, and Horst Bauer

"Zoo Palast" movie theater
Berlin-Charlottenburg, Budapester Straße 38,
1955-57 by Schwebes & Schoszberger and Gerhard Fritsche

Post-War Memorials

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Listing as Protected Historic Monuments

In the second section of Stalinallee begun in 1959, the "Kino International" and the "Café Moskau" (both 1961-1964) demonstrate this change of direction: Set completely in the international style denounced until that point as "formalistic", the movie theater and restaurant were accommodated in rectangular, two-story low-rise structures. In an exciting contrast, these low-lying buildings stand in front of sections of high-rises. The Café is adorned with the colored mosaic "From the Life of the People of the Soviet Union" by Bert Heller. One special feature is the movie theater's facade of poured concrete and relief that was created by the sculptors Waldemar Grzimek, Hubert Schiefelbein, and Karl-Heinz Schamal in 1966.

As early as 1955, the architects Schwebes & Schoszberger used a similar construction principle to that of the second section of the Stalinallee at their "Zentrum am Zoo" ("Center at the Zoo"). The "Zoo Palast" movie theater, a detached low-rise building, is flanked by a 16-story high-rise and a long row of low-lying buildings. The new complex of stores, offices, apartments, and the movie theater developed quickly into a the entertainment center of the western half of the city. Since its construction, the Zoo Palast has been the chief location for the "Internationalen Filmfestspiele" ("International Film Festival") established in 1951, which still attracts citizens of Berlin and visitors from all over the world like a magnet. Only a short distance from here at an intersection with heavy traffic at Kurfürstendamm, the Café Kranzler was built from 1957 to 1958. The architect, Hanns Dustmann, crowned a plain two-story low-rise with a round pavilion set with a marquee. This striking and original café pavilion became an identification point for the western part of the city. The Zoo Palast and Café Kranzler, Kino International, and Café Moskau all represent a recovery from the terror of the war and the hardship of the rebuilding years, and a rediscovery of a better quality of life and joie de vivre.

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