“Public pleasure culture in the port city of Hamburg, 1890s – 1960s” by Alina L Just

Coloured postcard from the Star Club Hamburg. The wide room is densely filled with people, in the foreground several groups are sitting at tables. Behind them, most people are standing and looking towards the stage. A band is playing there. Different coloured lanterns hang from the flat ceiling. The postcard is inscribed in German with "Greetings from the Star-Club Hamburg".
Post card from famous Star-Club in St. Pauli, 1960s. Universität Hamburg, Arbeitsstelle für Hamburgische Geschichte, Hans-Werner Engels Collection.

Based on an initial pan-Hamburg mapping of major entertainment venues (see below), Alina Just zooms in specific Hamburg pleasurescapes between the 1890s and the 1960s to explore the relations between spatial urban configuration and alternate social appropriation. Key questions of hers are: Which infrastructures and spatial conditions facilitated the establishment of urban landscapes of pleasure in Hamburg since the turn of the 20thcentury? How did political and economic strategies of urban planning interfere with public pleasure culture or, vice versa, how did early entertainment entrepreneurs shape urban development actively? Which program offers and audiences circled in which areas and locations of public pleasures and how did this influence the image and reputation of specific quarters? Case studies delve into the Hamburg neighborhoods of St. Pauli, Veddel, Rothenburgsort and Billwerder, as well as an amusement park in the formerly neighboring city of Altona.

Black and white postcard of August Schwaff's excursion restaurant on the Veddel. You can see the three-storey building with the garden in front of it. In front of the building are several people and three large trees without leaves. The card is printed in German with the inscription: "Elbinsel Peute, Hamburg. Summer establishment. Owner: August Schwaff."
Post card from August Schwaff’s garden restaurant in Veddel, 1904-1910. Veddel-Archive, Dieter Thal Collection.
The picture shows the entrance to Luna Park at night. Several lanterns illuminate the night scene. The entrance gate consists of three small towers that together form a building. In the middle and largest tower is the passageway with the inscription "LUNA PARK". To the right and left of it are smaller passages under the connecting roofs to the other towers. A few people are standing in front of the entrance gate. On the left edge of the picture is a car with its headlights on.
Photo of Luna Park entrance in Altona, 1913-1914. Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Planklammer, 720-1_151-03=15_00051.

26 November – Pleasurescapes panel at the „Stadt nach Acht“ Conference Berlin

On 26 November you can meet part of the Pleasurescapes team live in Berlin. Our Hamburg researchers Lisa Kosok and Alina Just will present our project at the „Stadt nach Acht“ („City after Eight“) Conference. Together with Lars Amenda they will talk about our project and historical perspectives on key agents of entertainment culture in the pleasurescape of Hamburg St. Pauli. Tickets for the conference with many interesting talks on nightlife are available online.

More information: „Pleasurescapes: Pleasure and Nightlife as Driving Forces for Urban Development“ [Panel in English]: 26 November, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM, Holzmarkt (Säälchen), Berlin.