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Pauli district, one of the two centres of Hamburg's nightlife the other being Sternschanze and also the city's major red-light district. The Reeperbahn Festival is among the largest club festivals.
Until the s Hamburg's ropewalks had been located in the Neustadt New Town quarter of the inner city close to the Elbe , which then became a densely built up area. Therefore, the ropewalks "had to be relocated outside the city walls on the country road leading toward Altona — which later took on the street name 'Reperbahn'. The street is lined with restaurants , night clubs , discotheques and bars. There are also strip clubs , sex shops , brothels and similar businesses. The Operettenhaus , a musical theatre , is also located at the Reeperbahn.
There are other theatres at the Reeperbahn St. Since the s, there have been signs saying that entrance to the street is prohibited for women and juveniles; however, it is a public road which anyone may enter. In former years, several sex theatres here Salambo , Regina , Colibri , Safari would show live sex acts on stage. As of [update] , until its closure in , the Safari was the only live sex theatre left in Germany. Hotel Luxor , Hamburg's oldest brothel that had operated on this street for 60 years, was closed in In , Europe's largest brothel at the time, the six-floor Eros Center , was opened on the Reeperbahn.
It was closed in the late s amidst the AIDS scare. At a major trial during and ten members of the "Marek Gang", which controls brothels on and near the Reeperbahn, were charged with pimping. The judge rejected the charge of forming a criminal gang and handed out suspended sentences: the men had started relationships with young women in local discotheques in order to recruit them to work in their brothels, an illegal practice if the women are under 21 years of age; some men had also abused some of the women who worked for them.
Because of the problems with the high crime rate , in the Senate of Hamburg enacted a ban on weapons in the Reeperbahn area. The only other such area with a weapons ban in Hamburg is the Hansaplatz , St. The St Pauli Preservation Society decries the ongoing gentrification of the area. Several old-timers [ who? The increasing number of these and other modern buildings erected at the Reeperbahn attracted criticism by some St. Pauli inhabitants. In the early s, The Beatles who had not yet become world-famous played in several clubs around the Reeperbahn, including the Star-Club , Kaiserkeller , Top Ten Reeperbahn and Indra.