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The Karlsruhe theater scene has a rich and vibrant culture. From the historic State Theater to the playful Marotte Figurentheater, you’re sure to find something to meet your tastes.
Baden State Theater (Baden Staatstheater)
This Karlsruhe theater, the Baden Staatstheater (Baumeisterstraße 11), in its current incarnation and structure goes back to just 1975. However, the theater tradition of this cultural icon can be traced much further back. In 1808, the first State Theater was formed near the palace grounds but it was destroyed in 1875 when a fire erupted during a staged performance.
Despite a quick response from the brave Karlsruhe firemen, the fire fight turned deadly. This tragedy which killed 63 people in less than 30 minutes had a worldwide effect by introducing new fire codes for public buildings. The theater was rebuilt in 1853 and would last almost a century this time, until an air raid in 1944 once again decimated the Karlsruhe landmark.
Now in its third or fourth structural incarnation, the Baden State Theater features operas, ballets, musicals, concerts, plays and a special children’s Christmas performance.
The Sandkorn Theater (Kaiserallee 11) is a relatively new addition to the Karlsruhe theater scene. Founded in 1956, the Sandkorn features two stages — the Studio Stage and Factory — for an even better variety of theatrical performances.
The repertoire can include anything and everything, like musicals and cabaret. This Karlsruhe theater is also well-known for its children and youth theater.
The Sandkorn offers about 8 new performances each year and plays to crowds of 45,000 to 50,000.
There’s always something here to please the young and young-at-heart at the Marotte Figurentheater (Kaiserallee 11). The Marotte showcases everything from traditional fairy tales to modern children’s stories. With their hand puppets or shadow puppets, sometimes even avant-garde and experimental shows can be seen here.
Jakobus Theater in der Fabrik
This amateur theater has been around since 1982. The Jakobus Theater (Kaiserallee 11) is a non-profit performance center that utilizes volunteers of all ages for their shows. The program can include anything from classic German theater to contemporary works.
Filmpalast am ZKM
This Karlsruhe cinema is the go-to place for the latest in movies and films. Both German films and Hollywood blockbusters can be seen here at the Filmpalast am ZKM (Brauerstraße 40). And you can even watch them in 3D!