'Table seven calling number four....' Berlin's retro chat-up lines

Retro style flirting in Berlin - original table telephones in a Berlin dancehall

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This is what phone-flirting looked like long before the existence of dating apps: numbered telephones on nightclub tables enabling smooth-talking calls to whoever caught your eye.

Once all the rage in Berlin's Weimar-era clubs and ballrooms, incredibly, these pioneers of the pick-up line still exist in the Ballhaus Berlin, a century-old dance-hall in the heart of the city.

Table telephone flirting at the Resi casino and ballroom in Berlin - late 1920s
Ballhaus Berlin - the only Berlin ballroom that still retains its vintage table telephones

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Don't be fooled by the building's unprepossessing exterior - inside (to steal a phrase from 'Cabaret', which also features its very own table-telephone song) "life is beautiful". Or at least, a rather glitzy confection of gilt, mirrors and a balcony overlooking the dance-floor.

A true 'Cabaret' moment in Berlin - a ballhaus complete with original table telephones

But the star attraction at Ballhaus Berlin is, of course, those late 1930s 'Tischtelefonen'; a unique survivor of the city's racy pre-war heyday. Get ready to flirt, retro-style, because for once, an inability to put down your phone is all just part of the party.

See also:
A burlesque bar in Kreuzberg
Silent movies at the Babylon Kino

Berlin's amazing party store

Ballhaus Berlin: Chausseestraße 102, 10115 Berlin. Check website for details of events and opening times.


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