The Star-Club opened as a music club on Friday 13 April 1962 at Große Freiheit 39, just off the Reeperbahn in the St. Pauli quarter of Hamburg, amongst the bordellos, strip shows and greasy spoons.
The club – a former cinema with a capacity of 2,000 people – was initially operated by Manfred Weissleder and Horst Fascher. The duo ripped out the cinema-style seating and replaced it with clusters of horseshoe lounge sofas and two bars along the back wall. Upstairs was a balcony where one could sit and listen without watching and dancing.
The Beatles held three residency sessions at the club in 1962 between 13 April and 31 May, 1 and 14 November, and 18 and 31 December. Parts of their December performances were recorded on a home tape machine and a version was released in 1977 as Live! at the Star-Club.
The Beatles performed for three and a half hours each night. For this, they were paid 600DM (£53.50) per person each week.
Soon, The Star-Club acquired legendary status all over the world. In the seven years of its existence, the Star-Club played host to musicians including The Beatles, The Big Three, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, The Searchers, The Remo Four, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, The Liverbirds, The Undertakers, Lee Curtis and the All-Stars, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Brenda Lee, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, The Everly Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Cream, The Pretty Things, The Monks, Black Sabbath and The Twilights.
The club closed on 15 November 1969 due to rising costs and the building it occupied was destroyed by a fire in 1987.