Thursday, March 6, 2014

More goodies from the October 1971 issue of Berlin Today

Frank's Pig-Pen, a former West Berlin watering hole that was the subject of last night's post, was just one of the interesting things to be found within the October 1971 issue of Berlin Today, an entertainment guide geared primarily toward the U.S. military members stationed in West Berlin during the Cold War.

Here are some of the other neat things from this 40-page staplebound publication:

1. The are daily listings for Armed Forces TV-Berlin, a low-power UHF channel that was available West Berlin. Some of the television shows that were regularly aired included My Favorite Martian, Green Acres, Dragnet, Playboy After Dark, Sesame Street, Bonanza, Room 222, and The Tim Conway Comedy Hour.1

2. Although Armed Forces TV had very limited movie offerings, there were at least four West Berlin movie theaters with lineups geared toward Americans — Andrews, Columbia, Outpost and Coliseum. Some of the movies showing in October 1971 were The Vampire Lovers, Jane Eyre, The Barefoot Executive, Alex in Wonderland, Get Carter and Cold Turkey. The movie theaters also showed the 1971 Indianapolis 500, 1971 college football highlights and Woody Woodpecker cartoons.

3. There is a "Menu Translator" section featuring an illustration for Monsieur Gourmet that looks quite a bit like Stewie from Family Guy. Don't order weinbergschnecken off a menu unless you have a hankering for snails. If you order your steak nicht durchgebraten, it will come to you nice and bloody.

4. There is an advertisement for a Bechstein Grand Piano available for a one-time offer of just 9,000 Deutsche Marks. I truly don't know whether that would have been a great deal or not.

5. Finally, there is this amazing advertisement on the back page of the guide. It touts Rolf Eden's four international dance bars, which featured a mix of disco, jazz, beer, go-go girls, whiskey, orchestras, strippers, and "the latest Zany Electronic Eden Creations."

That's Rolf Eden himself in the advertisement, holding a gun and looking like James Bond.

According to an English translation of his German-language Wikipedia page, Rolf Eden Shimon is a well-known playboy and nightclub owner. He was born in 1930 to Jewish parents in Berlin. The family fled to Mandatory Palestine in 1933 as the Nazis rose to power. Eden worked as a musician for a while. He lived in Paris during the early 1950s and then returned to Berlin in 1956.

He opened the first of his establishments, the Eden Saloon, in 1957, and his nightclub empire grew from there. He eventually transitioned to real estate and fully divested himself of his clubs in 2002.

Eden has also had a side career as a movie actor. He had a role in 1962's The Terror of Doctor Mabuse, which starred Gert Fröbe (of Goldfinger fame).

Eden's German-language autobiography was published in 2012, and I think the not-safe-for-work cover tells you all you need to know about his life. The main title translates roughly to "Always Just Been Lucky."

Here are a few more Eden-related links:

1. For more on Armed Forces TV-Berlin, check out this remembrance website (which hasn't been updated since 2008, but still has a little bit of good info).

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