1993, Leipzig during the post-reunification period. This is when the actors of the Theaterhaus Jena discovered an unused building with event halls on the Karl-Heine-Straße. The idea to build a theater in the west of Leipzig was born - an area that up to that point had been neglected and offered little prospects. Shortly after this discovery, an ambitious project began: to repair the withered and forgotten property and thereby offer the club for “international theater exploration”, which had been founded in the meantime, a home base and forum for their ideas. It took a good year before the doors of the Schaubühne Lindenfels opened for the first time, revealing the long buried allure of the building's interior. The first season began September 15th, 1994, with a stage production and a movie screening. In the following years, the Schaubühne established itself as a place for cultural events and theater projects outside the city center.
In 2002, the owner at the time was forced to file for bankruptcy. The purchase of the property by the operators of the Schaubühne became essential for securing the Schaubühne as a permanent cultural location. The non-profit joint-stock company, which was founded in 2005, purchased the property and acts as the production house's sponsor. This marked the start of an experiment with cultural, political and economic relevance. Today, Germany's first “stock theater” belongs to more than 1,200 shareholders. The Schaubühne theater is a shared space - in more than one way.
History before 1990
Carl Schmidt, a mason, who previously managed a restaurant on Karl- Heine-Straße (known as Leipziger Straße until 1893), builds the current Schaubühne Lindenfels as an event hall for dances.
The ballroom building is extended with the construction of a “concert garden facility”, featuring colonial-style pergolas by Theodor Wezel. Wezel sells the property to Johann Max Nohke in 1899.
The building is re-opened as the “Gesellschaftshalle zu Lindenau” (Event Hall Lindenau), together with today's Westflügel (west wing), which was designed on behalf of Johann Max Nohke by Gründerzeit- style architect Emil Franz Hänsel (architect of the exhibition center “Specks Hof”).
Otto Besser, part owner of the steam brewery Zwenkau, acquires the property through a compulsory sale. Besser renames the establishment “Schloss Lindenfels” (Lindenfels Palace). He offers movie screenings starting in 1906, and “public theatrical events” starting in 1907.
Cinema owner Joseph Fey runs a regular cinema program.
1931 - 1945
Current leaseholder Arthur Stoppe shows movies as well as propaganda films.
The Westflügel (west wing), a part of the Lindenfels complex, is leased to the sheet metal and stovepipe factory Frölich, and is converted in the process. The factory is active until about 1975. Afterwards, the building stands derelict for about 20 years.
Today's Schaubühne is changed into a publicly owned company called “Lichtspieltheater Lindenfels” (Cinema Lindenfels). The ballroom is refurbished with Sprelacart boards in 1956.
The Building is shut down due to a heater accident.