Posted on: January 19, 2015
(This article has last been updated on 19 December 2017.)
This infamous Amsterdam sex theatre is located in the heart of the Red Light District and offers impressive live sex shows on stage. Casa Rossa is no moulin rouge, it’s the “real” thing. During the night several women and men perform on stage. It’s one of the few places out there, where you can see live sex on stage. There are about 100 seats in this place and they all have a (cinema) reddish colour.
Casa Rosso was founded in 1969 by Maurits de Vries, a.k.a. Zwarte Joop (Black Joop). He was born in 1935 and experienced the Second World War. During the war, he had to go underground. Maurits fled to the north of Holland, known as Friesland. On a farm in Friesland a peasant woman told Maurits that his name sounded too Jewish. This is how he got the nickname Joop.
He was one of the pioneers in the Red Light District. He opened Casa Rosso in the beginning of the sexual revolution. In the 60’s there were hardly any porno movies. For this reason Maurits de Vries decided to open Holland’s first sex cinema; Casa Rosso. In the early days live sex on stage wasn’t allowed, even most porn movies weren’t allowed. The local authorities didn’t know for a long time whether Casa Rosso’s business was legal, therefore they tolerated it.
This is Joop, also known as “Ome Joop” or “Uncle Joop” who worked at Casa Rosso in Amsterdam for many years. He did all kinds of possible things. He assisted all customers to their seats, getting lunch for the ladies, reservations, he sold tickets and whatnot. Joop kept working there even though he reached the age of 74. Also, for 11 years in a row, he owned the title for having the best moustache in the Netherlands. He even received the international moustache award 4 times!
In those years, the police often entered Casa Rosso to check if they did everything by the book. However, most entrepreneurs and employees knew what all of the police officers looked like, so they informed everybody in the district when the police were doing a check. Casa Rosso had come up with brilliant method to avoid any trouble with the authorities; They changed all the hardcore porn movies to erotic cartoon movies. They hid all the real porn movies on the roof of the building.
Back then, Maurits de Vries was also known as a guy who was well connected with the American and Italian mob. According to a Dutch crime reporter, Casa Rosso was funded by an infamous American gangster called Meyer Lansky. He was also known as the architect of the American organized crime.
In 1983, Maurits de Vries fled to Switzerland, on the advice of a famous Dutch lawyer – Max Moszkowicz. Apparently Maurits de Vries was having trouble with the Dutch justice department and the tax administration. In 1986, de Vries passed away.
Do you want to know more about Casa Rosso and De Wallen? Join our walking tours in Amsterdam! Our local experts can tell you everything about this place, the Red Light District and Dutch culture.
These days, Casa Rosso is owned by Jan Otten. He started working there as a doorman but through the years he eventually got promoted to managing director. Later on, he was fortunate enough to be able to buy the place.
So, this is the place where you watch live sex on stage. There are different couples who perform throughout the week but usually you’ll see one couple per night.
Want to visit Cassa Rosso in Amsterdam? Here’s what you need to know:
Casa Rosso Amsterdam is opened 7 days a week between:
During the tours our guides can tell you more about this erotic theatre. Get to know all the ins and outs of Amsterdam’s oldest and most infamous area – De Wallen. Our guides will tell you everything you need to know about the fascinating Red Light District.