Opposite the old Tempelhof airport, the Columbiahalle and the Columbia Theater are former US leisure facilities that are now popular venues for rock, pop, indie and electro concerts.
Hardly any other hall in Berlin is as synonymous with good music and great gigs as the Columbiahalle (also known as the C-Halle). Nearly all the national and international rock and pop greats have raised the roof here.
The halls have room for around 3500 people – not too big to get a good view of the stage wherever you are. The Columbiahalle is opposite the old airport, directly where Tempelhof meets Kreuzberg – a central location which is easy to reach from anywhere.
It also has a garden which opened in 2001 and is a beautiful backdrop for open-air events or just taking a breather from the gigs.
There’s a very intimate club atmosphere at the Columbia Theater next door, which has made its name as a venue for indie, electro and pop gigs.
A varied history
The history of the venues goes back to 1951, when the Columbiahalle opened as a sports hall for American soldiers posted in Berlin. Directly next-door there was a 400-seat cinema, also for the American soldiers. That cinema is now the Columbia Theater and also a concert venue.
In 1994, when the Americans forces left Berlin after more than 40 years, the building complex was inherited by the city authorities. The cinema and the hall were closed and fell into disuse.
Not until the end of the 1990s was a new owner found, who turned the Columbiahalle into a venue for concerts and other events. After a comprehensive refurbishment in 2014, the hall was returned to its former glory and is now a location for concerts, sports and other events.
The history of the cinema is no less varied. It was first converted to a club in 1998, and later became the legendary ColumbiaFritz. From 2002 the building was known as the Columbiaclub and the C-Club. It reopened with a new concept as the Columbia Theater in 2015.