Janot Entertainment: 50-year anniversary of erotica
Text: Berthe Van Den Hurk | Top picture: Casa Rosso. Photo © Martin Alberts
I n 1968, the erotic theatre Casa Rosso opened its doors for the very first time. Fifty years later, it has grown into a household name and its parent company Janot Entertainment, has multiple venues. Certainly, Amsterdam’s redlight district would not be the same without it.
Casa Rosso is the epicentre of Amsterdam’s red-light district. The world-famous erotic theatre stages numerous solo and duo performances, impressive poledance acts and interactive shows with humour. Tickets are available at the door and online, and visitors can stay as long as they like. With 184 red velvet chairs facing the stage, it is the perfect place to watch seductive acts come alive.
One of the reasons for the success of Casa Rosso is owner Jan Otten, who started out as a doorman and climbed the company ladder until he eventually took over the business. Even though he is now 76 years old, he still works every day, including handling ticket sales at the door of Casa Rosso. “I don’t have the time to retire,” states Otten. “Besides, this job keeps me young. Many people my age are sitting at home doing nothing. I feel alive when I’m at work.”
Fifty years of erotic theatre
Casa Rosso’s parent company Janot Entertainment, has become a real empire within the erotic theatre scene of Amsterdam. “We have a unique concept; erotic theatre for men, women and couples, there is something for everyone,” says Otten. In October this year, Janot Entertainment will celebrate its 50-year anniversary with a range of festive events.
Otten: “All kinds of people come to visit Casa Rosso from all over the world. Our shows are female friendly, simply
because we love and respect women. In fact, 70 per cent of all visitors are women.” According to Otten, the best part of the job is to see the expression on people’s faces after the show. “Casa Rosso stirs desire. When I see a couple is kissing intimately at the door after the show, I know that we have done our job properly.”
Erotica at the museum
Amsterdam and the red-light district have an interesting history, starting in the 16th century. The impressive collection of erotic art at the Erotic Museum presents eroticism throughout the ages. Historical and contemporary paintings, drawings, pottery, films, photographs and all kinds of unconventional erotic items, show the rich history of erotica.
The Erotic Museum has several mustsee’s exhibited. For example, there is one entire floor dedicated to sado masochism and fetishism, but also the original erotic sketches that John Lennon made while honeymooning in Amsterdam, and much more. The Erotic Museum is a must when visiting Amsterdam, and do not forget to check out the quirky souvenir shop.
Nightclubs and hospitals
Another of Janot Entertainment’s venues is the Bananabar and Bananaclub, two erotic nightclubs in the same building. There are a number of erotic shows, in which bananas always play a big part.The perfect place to blow off some steam or to celebrate a bachelor/bachelorette party.
Things can get very heated at the red-light district, and the hot nurses at the Hospital Bar will take good care of its visitors. The erotic dancers are dressed in nurse outfits and armed with stethoscopes. As they jokingly say at the bar, “A lap dance a day, keeps the doctor away.”
The venues are located along the same canal and within walking distance from each other, and Otten can keep an eye on his businesses. Otten concludes: “I love the Banana Bar and the Hospital Bar, but Casa Rosso remains my baby, my first love. It’s where it all started for me.”
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