The Cultural House of Mestlin
The cultural house of Mestlin was built in the fifties. It developed to a cultural centre with supraregional importance. After the opening of the wall it came to a breakdown. Now there is an association, that wants to remodell the empty building and find a new purpose.
The cultural house, built in the neoclassical style, was opened as the centre of the "socialist sample village" on October 19th, 1957 after it had been built for three years.
The similarity of the cultural house in Mestlin (designed by the architect Erich Bentrup) and the German State Opera Unter den Linden in Berlin by the famous architect Knobelsdorff is especially interesting. In an analysis of the cultural house of Mestlin Peter Huth takes a deep look at this aspect.
Due to it's size (57 x 28 m area) and the existance of various rooms:
it offered a variety of utilization possibilities.
The cultural house developed to a cultural centre of the whole region: exhibitions, cinema and theatre shows, seminars and conferences, catering
and public spare time circles, ...
The cultural house accompanied many people from Mestlin on their steps through life: socialist name consecration, ceremonial enrollment, taking part in joint ventures / circles, youth consecration, dancing classes, youth dances / disco, cinema, and maybe even the registry office.
After the opening of the wall, the cultural house with its utilization concept was beyond the means. The attempt to have a disco in that building was only profitable in the beginning. It is a sign for cultural vandalism that the big banqueting hall has been painted completely black or that the, at least cultural-historically valuable, mural "Fruits of Mecklenburg" by Vera Kopetz was glossed over.
The destruction of the parquet floor, the sanitary facilities, the heating installation, ... in the unused cultural house followed. Wolfgang Lippert, who knew the cultural house from earlier shows, said in September 1997: "It is amazing, what humans can destroy" (SVZ September 16th, 1997).
Eleven persons founded the association "Kulturhaus Mestlin" e.V. on May 25th, 1997. They overtook a difficult task: to preserve the cultural house as a historic architectural monument, to remodell it, and to bring it back to cultural life. As a first event, the 40th anniversary of the cultural house was celebrated here in October 1999.
In1998, at the time of the first anniversary of the union, a first resumee could be written. The number of members increased to fifty. A few events could be held in the cultural house: the show of the regional theatre of Mecklenburg, children's carnival, a flea- and antiques market, ...
Another year later, in June 1999, another step had been taken. The small hall in the upper floor (gum hall) could be reconstructed and can now be used for events (with over 100 seats). There were e.g. a dance into May, the men's day celebration, the Whitsun dance and also a meeting of the inhabitants in preparation of the local elections. On the pictures you can see the gum hall during the harvest party in October 1999.
Unfortunately, however that the theatre show called "summer comedy '99" in August 1999 was not taken note of by many people in Mestlin.
The association was suspended 31.12.2004.
For actual information about Mestlin see www.mestlin.de