Cohen reopened the building as the 125th Street Apollo Theatre in 1934 with his partner – Morris Sussman, serving as manager.  It became the Apollo in 1934, when it was opened to black patrons – previously it had been a whites-only venue. The Apollo, directed by Academy Award-winning and Tribeca alumnus Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence; Life, Animated) and is produced by Lisa Cortés (Precious), White Horse’s Nigel Sinclair (George Harrison: Living in the Material World; Undefeated), Jeanne Elfant Festa (Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, Pavarotti) and Cassidy Hartmann (The Beatles: Eight Days A Week, Pavarotti) along with Williams. For the 2016 film, see, Apollo Theater Foundation press release: "Apollo 75th Anniversary: Milestones in Apollo Theater History", January 27, 2009, Underneath a Harlem Moon ... the Harlem to Paris years of Adelaide Hall. The theater, which has a capacity of 1,506, opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater, and was designed by George Keister in the neo-Classical style. In 1991, the Apollo was purchased by the State of New York, which created the non-profit Apollo Theater Foundation to run it. Ralph Cooper, an actor and producer, started the original Harlem Amateur Hour in April 1933 at Frank Schiffman’s Lafayette Theater. The resulting album, Live at the Apollo, was a groundbreaking success, spending 66 weeks on the Billboard pop albums chart and peaking at #2. High times, hard times. As the latest initiative in the Apollo Theater’s ongoing expansion, Apollo New Works extends the Theater’s commitment to the articulation and projection of the African American and African diasporic narrative. In 1934, Cooper began the Wednesday Amateur Night at Sidney Cohen … She had originally intended to go on stage and dance, but intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to sing instead, in the style of Connee Boswell. I guess only so many “light skinned” folks could be recognized at one time. During the early 1930s, the theatre fell into disrepair and closed once more. In 2009–10, in celebration of the theater's 75th anniversary, the theater put together an archive of historical material, including documents and photographs and, with Columbia University, began an oral history project.  It remained in operation until 1928, when Billy Minsky took over. , Schiffman had first introduced an amateur night at the Lafayette Theater, where it was known as "Harlem Amateur Hour", and was hosted by Ralph Cooper. The New York Theatre that became the Apollo was built in 1913 by Jules Hurtig and Harry Seamon, two burlesque theatre operators and opened as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. Other performers who recorded albums at the Apollo include Patti LaBelle, Clyde McPhatter, Marva Whitney, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Robert Palmer, and B.B.  Performers of soul music on the Apollo stage included Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, and jazz was represented as well, by acts such as Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo stage. Apollo Theater, theater established in 1913 at 253 West 125th Street in the Harlem district of New York City. Hurtig & Seamon’s was one of many theaters that would close down. There is no full footage from the concert. , MTA Regional Bus Operations' M60 SBS, M100, M101 and Bx15 buses stop on 125th Street outside the theater. Amateur Night at the Apollo celebrated its 85th Anniversary in 2019 as the quintessential talent competition, serving as the model for Star Search and American Idol. In 1979 Bob Marley and The Wailers played four nights at the Apollo Theater from 25-28 October in support of their Survival Tour. Fitzgerald's performances pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its "Amateur Nights". As musical styles changed, the theater evolved with the times, booking rhythm and blues, gospel, funk, soul and hip-hop acts, and hosting landmark performances by artists like James Brown. In 1934, Cooper began the Wednesday Amateur Night at Sidney Cohen and Morris Sussman’s 125th Street Apollo Theatre. In 1933 Fiorello La Guardia, who would later become New York City’s Mayor, began a campaign against burlesque. Sutton. The Apollo honored and recognized her on their Marquee in February, the day she died. In 2007, gospel recording artist Byron Cage played at the Apollo for his album Live at the Apollo: The Proclamation. Under Sutton’s ownership, the Theater was equipped with a recording and television studio.  On February 14, 1934, the first major star to appear at the Apollo was jazz singer and Broadway star Adelaide Hall in Clarence Robinson's production Chocolate Soldiers, which featured Sam Wooding's Orchestra. Apollo Theatre: history.  It obtained federal and city landmark status in that same year.  As of 2010[update], the Apollo Theater draws an estimated 1.3 million visitors annually. Cohen and Sussman changed the format of the shows from burlesque to variety revues and redirected their marketing attention to the growing African-American community in Harlem. It includes interviews with Robinson, Patti LaBelle and Pharrell Williams. Part of the ceiling of historic, Grade II listed Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London's West End collapsed on Thursday evening Gospel acts which played the Apollo include the Staple Singers, Mahalia Jackson, The Clark Sisters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward and Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers. Apollo 75th Anniversary: Milestones in Apollo Theater History - Article de l'Apollo Theater Foundation press release, paru le 27 janvier 2009. , In 2001, the architecture firms Beyer Blinder Belle, which specializes in restorations of historic buildings, and Davis Brody Bond began a restoration of the theater's interior. Today, the Apollo is a respected not-for-profit, which presents concerts, performing arts, education and community outreach programs.  From 1975 to 1982, the theater was owned by Guy Fisher. The Apollo covers the rich history of the storied performance space over its 85 years and follows a new production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me as it comes to the theater’s grand stage. The space has created opportunities for new talent to be seen and has served as a launchpad for a myriad of artists including Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Luther Vandross, Dave Chappelle, Lauryn Hill, Jimi Hendrix, and more. Helmed by Academy and Emmy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, The Apollo chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of the New York City landmark, the Apollo Theater.The documentary weaves together archival footage, music, comedy and dance performances, and behind-the-scenes verité with the team that makes the theater run. , Although the theatre concentrated on showcasing African American acts, it also presented white acts such as swing bandleaders Harry James, Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet during the swing era, and, later, jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz and Buddy Rich, who was a particular favorite of the Apollo crowd. © Copyright 2019 Apollo Theater. At the Apollo, it was originally called "Audition Night", but later became "Amateur Night in Harlem", held every Wednesday evening and broadcast on the radio over WMCA and eleven affiliate stations. Putnam. She sang Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection", a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first prize of $25.00. The concert was an invite-only event where subscribers to the satellite radio service were eligible to win tickets. The building which later became the Apollo Theater was built in 1913–14 and was designed by architect George Keister, who also designed the First Baptist Church in the City of New York. , Managed by Morris Sussman, Cohen's Apollo Theatre had vigorous competition from other venues, such as the Lafayette, managed by Frank Schiffman, which presented acts such as Louis Armstrong, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Bessie Smith and Eddie Green. Discovering the greatest stars of the age.  Jazz singer Anita O'Day headlined for the week of September 21, 1950, billed as "the Jezebel of Jazz". . I never understood throughout my life why Mable (my cousin) is not mentioned outside of NY for her accomplishments to dance, tap, Broadway and the entertainment industry. All rights reserved. The Apollo Victoria Theatre is owned and operated by The Ambassador Theatre Group. Designed by the architect Lewin Sharp for owner Henry Lowenfeld, it became the fourth legitimate theatre to be constructed on the street when it opened its doors on 21 February 1901, with the American musical comedy The Belle of Bohemia. Read more about the history and importance of the Apollo Theater via: The Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York is the most famous performance venue associated with African American entertainers. Read more about the history and importance of the Apollo Theater via: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-27813129. The Apollo features interviews with artists including Patti LaBelle, Pharrell Williams, Smokey Robinson, and Jamie Foxx. It was Jackson's final on-stage performance before his death in 2009. Like many American theaters during this time, African-Americans were not allowed to attend as patrons or to perform.  In 1983, both the interior and exterior of the building were designated as New York City Landmarks, and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. History & Legacy History of AMATEUR NIGHT AT THE APOLLO Ralph Cooper, an actor and producer, started the original Harlem Amateur Hour in April 1933 at Frank Schiffman’s Lafayette Theater. , The Apollo grew to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance of the pre-World War II years. The show ran for a limited engagement and was highly praised by the press, which helped establish the Apollo's reputation. Anita O'Day; George Eells (1981). The ultimate goal is to create a cadre of talented, well-trained and well-groomed performance professionals with an effective understanding of the entertainment industry. The show was recorded and was broadcast in its entirety on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. As the years progressed, such variety shows were presented less often. , One unique feature of the Apollo during Amateur Nights was "the executioner", a man with a broom who would sweep performers off the stage if the highly vocal and opinionated audiences began to call for their removal. The legendary venue has launched the careers of icons such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, James Brown and Lauryn Hill and continues to maintain its position as the nation's most popular arena for emerging and established African-American and Latino performers. The concert raised about $3 million.  The song "I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)" by Harry Sullivan and Harry Ruskin, written in 1929, became the theme song of the theater. The Apollo Theatre is a Grade II listed West End theatre, on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, in central London. History Creation and rise.  In 2005, restoration of the exterior, and the installation of a new light-emitting diode (LED) marquee began.
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