Sony Center Review
This glass-and-steel construction wraps around a spectacular circular forum. Topping it off is a tentlike structure meant to emulate Mount Fuji. The architectural jewel, designed by German-American architect Helmut Jahn, is one of the most stunning public spaces of Berlin's new center, filled with restaurants, cafés, movie theaters, and apartments. A faint reminder of glorious days gone by is the old Kaisersaal (Emperor's Hall), held within a very modern glass enclosure, and today a pricey restaurant. The hall originally stood 75 yards away in the Grand Hotel Esplanade (built in 1907) but was moved here lock, stock, and barrel. Red-carpet glamour returns every February with the Berlinale Film Festival, which has screenings at the commercial cinema within the center.
Deutsche Kinemathek Museum für Film und Fernsehen. Within the Sony Center is the small but fun Museum für Film und Fernsehen, which presents the groundbreaking history of German moviemaking with eye-catching displays. Descriptions are in English, and there's an audio guide as well. Memorabilia includes personal belongings of Marlene Dietrich and other German stars, while special exhibitions go into depth about outstanding directors, movements, and studios. A good selection of films, from the best classics to the virtually unknown art house finds, are shown in the theater on the lower level. During the Berlinale film festival in February, this place becomes one of the centers of the action. Sony Building, Potsdamer Str. 2, 10785. 030/300–9030. www.deutsche-kinemathek.de. €7. Tues., Wed., and Fri.–Sun. 10–6, Thurs. 10–8.