Ballroom Party: The Tarm Center Revival

Ballroom Party is a party celebrating a very special club from the 80s, 90s and 2000s: the Tarm Center. It’s a club fondly remembered by all those who experienced it.

The Tarm Center integrated restaurant, bars, outside area and of course a large dance floor. It opened in 1986 in Bochum. For most people, it was a place to dance and relax. But it served a second purpose: a showcase for the tarm company, manufacturer of laser systems. Events were used to demonstrate the whole scale of laser products in a live show. That was a win-win for everybody.

Seven years later, the Tarm Center expanded to Frechen, a town bordering Cologne. An even bigger dance floor where up to 3000 people could dance to techno music. MTV rival VIVA would record their dance music show Club Rotation at Tarm Center West. The club lasted until 2007, while the original Bochum club closed in 2003.

Sculpture in front of Die Kantine
Die Kantine

Ballroom Party

Ballroom Party lasers

So a certain generation at a certain location in Germany were exposed to this club. That’s where the Ballroom Party comes in, bringing the music from the era and resident DJs back. A laser show is offered as well.

I went with a couple of friends to the Ballroom Party in Cologne. The location felt more remote than it actually is – the venue (Die Kantine) has a bus stop and a tram stop nearby. Die Kantine has an outdoor area, which wasn’t too busy in February. 

Now, I’ve never been at Tarm, nor did I live nearby during that time. I thought the laser show at the Ballroom Party was nice, and the music was (mostly) 90s/early 2000s. The Tarm City veterans in my group told me, that while the party is nice, the laser show is not on the same level.

The music mix featured many popular dance tracks. I did notice that the excitement was noticeably lower when the mix included Avicii’s Levels – different generation, I guess. For me, Levels is a masterpiece, just like Faithless’ Insomnia.

Ballroom Party bar
Ballroom Party lasers
Ballroom Party lasers

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Loves to travel in Japan, but is open to explore the major and lesser known sights of Germany.

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