The Admiralspalast is one of Berlin's most historical places of entertainment. Its colourful and varied history is closely linked to the political and social changes that took place in the city during the last hundred years. This "new, cosmopolitan establishment", as it was called when it opened in 1911 at the end of the German Empire, was one of the first people's palaces anywhere with ice rink, 24-hour Russian/Roman luxury spa, four bowling alleys and a sumptuous cinema.
At the beginning of the roaring twenties the Admiralspalast was renovated in the Art Déco style by the architects Oskar Kaufmann and Richard Wolffenstein and until the end of the thirties was a showcase for the most extravagant revues which the outbreak of the Second World War put a stop to. After the war, the politicians Otto Grotewohl (Social Democratic Party) and Wilhelm Pieck (Communist Party) founded the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany (SED) here with a handshake.
In East Berlin, the Admiralspalast was renamed the "Metropol Theatre in the Admiral's Palace" in which classical operettas played alongside Broadway musicals. The political cabaret Die Distel (The Thistle) and the GDR Press Café moved in to the front building and became the place to meet for East German bohemians. After the fall of the wall in 1989 the Admiralspalast was extensively renovated and modernised, opening again in 2006, since when the Admiralspalast takes its place once more as one of Berlin's great entertainment venues. The programme includes international rock shows, rock/pop concerts, musicals and comedy shows which pack out the dazzling 1,700 seat main stage to the delight of its audiences.