The Apollo Theater is a legendary African American theater. It is the heart and soul of Harlem.
The World Famous Apollo Theater
The Apollo opened in 1914 as a burlesque theater. It closed down in 1933 when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia turned against burlesque. It reopened as the Apollo Theater in 1934 and began focusing on African American talent.
In the 1930s, Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham performed at the Apollo. Markham is one of the godfathers of Hip-Hop. “Here come the judge!”
In the 1940s, the Apollo was a center for Jazz and Swing.
After World War I, the Apollo Theater was part of the Harlem Renaissance of Black culture.
Amateur Night at the Apollo
Many famous artists got their start at the Apollo’s legendary Wednesday night Amateur Night. The marquee names include: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, and Lauryn Hill.
The Apollo Theater is one of New York’s sacred places for all the legends who have graced its stage. You feel it when walk in. History was made here.