Apollo Theater

253 W. 125th Street,
New York, NY 10027

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Showing 26 - 50 of 69 comments

Bway
Bway on October 7, 2008 at 11:01 am

I thought that one day they would make the photo feature operate again. There are MANY really historic or famous theaters that don’t have a photo on the site!!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 30, 2008 at 12:48 pm

With all the images of the Apollo floating around in cyberspace, it’s rather amusing that the CT introduction has a large, empty space marked “No Photo Available.”

RedDawg
RedDawg on September 30, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Speaking of photos, I have been watching this site announcement ever since I became a member in Oct. 2003:

“Add Photo is offline
Due to the enormous number of photo submissions we’ve received at Cinema Treasures (over 3500 photos!), it has become necessary for us to completely overhaul our photo submission system.

“As a result, this feature is offline until we develop a more scalable system. If you have photos to submit to Cinema Treasures, please be patient. This feature will eventually return.

“The new systemâ€"which will offer expanded photo galleries, more browsing options, and other improvements— is worth the wait, but given the size of this website, we must develop this feature carefully.

“(Please do not email us asking when this feature will return. Whenever we have news about this feature, we’ll post it here first.)”

How long does this take? Really?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 30, 2008 at 6:41 am

Please don’t post any photos of the Apollo for my sake, because I’ve probably seen them. But the best images are stored in my own memory (which is hardly “lost”). During the Apollo’s heyday, I attended many performances there, and saw such great stars as Dinah Washington, Eartha Kitt, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, “Moms” Mabley, Redd Foxx, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie and Duke Ellington with their orchestras.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 29, 2008 at 1:58 pm

YAWN!!! Anyone can find that photo— and many more like it— by simply doing a Google Images search.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm

The “100” number refers only to those who were vocal.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 29, 2008 at 10:24 am

William, I didn’t write the caption. You should send your correction to The New York Times.

William
William on September 29, 2008 at 9:57 am

Warren, there more then “about 100 people” in that picture from the NY Times.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 28, 2008 at 7:03 am

This view of the auditorium makes a welcome change from the seemingly endless and increasingly boring postings of exterior photos:
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 19, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Thanks, LM! I was not aware it was still showing films that far into the forties.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm

LM, which Harlem Theatre is that in the May 8 photo?

LuisV
LuisV on September 18, 2008 at 7:48 am

The Apollo theater has just recieved another $1MM donation from one of its board members to be applied towards the completion of its renovation in time for its 75th Anniversary.

Too bad the Loew’s Kings doesn’t have this kind of support.

jflundy
jflundy on August 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Circa 1941 photo of Apollo from west of 8th Avenue:
View link

markp
markp on May 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm

That other marquee in the distance is of the old Loew’s Victoria 125th Street theatre, which later became the Victoria 5 theatres.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 3, 2008 at 11:21 am

In the 3/28 photo, what is the story with the marquee down the block? Is that another theater or former theater?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 3, 2008 at 8:54 am

Here’s a rare Apollo ad from 1950 with a movie receiving almost as much attention as the stage bill: View link

LuisV
LuisV on January 23, 2008 at 8:24 am

ShoeShoe…I wholeheartedly agree! While I know that the old palaces could never be replicated in a financially viable way, I don’t know why more of the multiplexes can’t be constructed to at least pay some homage to the old palaces of the past.

One of my favorite multiplexes is the AMC 25 plex in Times Square due to its incorporation of the old Empire Theater into its lobby. I would have been much, much happier it they had just made the Empire one of the 24 screens. It was, in fact a small theater, and could have been spectacularly used. I’m sure they thought of it, but for some reason or another it wasn’t financially viable.

My other favorite is the Loew’s Lincoln Sqaure and only because they paid homage to the old Loew’s movie palaces of the metropolitan New York area with each screening room dedicated to a former palace along with a small history. I only wish that each screening room was decorated to relate directly to the theater being honored. You would think that in this day of cheap faux decorations (of which Vegas is but the biggest example) this would be relatively easy to do.

Maybe not.

Warren, I respect your decision not to accept the Apollo. I, however do not accept almost any of the multiplexes as they are but simple boxes with no architectural distinctions. I stand by my comment that it is about the building. As such, I don’t care if movies were shown simply as fillers between live acts or not. If they were a beautiful strucure and they showed a film, they should be listed on CT. I believe that even a relatively spartan Apollo theater is much more a cinema treasure than almost any of the multiplexes (and many of the single screens as well) on this website.

LuisV
LuisV on January 23, 2008 at 8:23 am

ShoeShoe…I wholeheartedly agree! While I know that the old palaces could never be replicated in a financially viable way, I don’t know why more of the multiplexes can’t be constructed to at least pay some homage to the old palaces of the past.

One of my favorite multiplexes is the AMC 25 plex in Times Square due to its incorporation of the old Empire Theater into its lobby. I would have been much, much happier it they had just made the Empire one of the 24 screens. It was, in fact a small theater, and could have been spectacularly used. I’m sure they thought of it, but for some reason or another it wasn’t financially viable.

My other favorite is the Loew’s Lincoln Sqaure and only because they paid homage to the old Loew’s movie palaces of the metropolitan New York area with each screening room dedicated to a former palace along with a small history. I only wish that each screening room was decorated to relate directly to the theater being honored. You would think that in this day of cheap faux decorations (of which Vegas is but the biggest example) this would be relatively easy to do.

Maybe not.

Warren, I respect your decision not to accept the Apollo. I, however do not accept almost any of the multiplexes as they are but simple boxes with no architectural distinctions. I stand by my comment that it is about the building. As such, I don’t care if movies were shown simply as fillers between live acts or not. If they were a beautiful strucure and they showed a film, they should be listed on CT. I believe that even a relatively spartan Apollo theater is much more a cinema treasure than almost any of the multiplexes (and many of the single screens as well) on this website.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 23, 2008 at 6:11 am

I would never include the Apollo in a discussion of “movie palaces.” It started out as a burlesque and vaudeville house in the plain architectural style of that time, and became famous for its stage shows with the cream of black entertainers. Movies were usually shown only as “fillers” between the stage shows.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on January 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Regarding movie palaces, these days, it would cost 5 times as much as it did then to replicate, so that’s not going to happen. But what would be cool would be a movie palace replica in fiberglass and other cheap materials, resembling a movie palace. Vegas has some money. I think that’s a great idea. Build a replica of an atmospheric.

markp
markp on January 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm

HERE, HERE, I couldn’t agree with you more LuisV, lets get those darn ‘sheetrock palace’ multiplexes outta here!!

LuisV
LuisV on January 22, 2008 at 6:53 pm

There were comments above questioning whether or not movies ever palyed at The Apollo and, as a result, whether it should be included on this site. Thankfully, other posters were able to show that films did indeed play the Apollo and therby insure this theater’s inclusion as a Cinema Treasure.

I mention this because, for me (and I suspect a great many others who love this site) what makes a cinema treasure truly a treasure is the building itself. Virtually all of the most beloved theaters on this site are architectural marvels of their day with luxurious finishes and designs and the opportunity to see a film with not just hundreds, but sometimes thousands of others!

Many of these treasures (especially those before 1930) started out as legitimate playhouses which were subsequently changed to films as the times changed. As a result we have spectacular theaters like Radio City, The New Amsterdam and, of course, The World Famous Apollo (to name just a few) as Cinema Treasures because they were subsequently changed to film only policies. There are a great
many other spectacular theaters that are not present on CT because they have not shown films. Playhouses like the beautiful Cort and The Lyceum theaters in New York are not given their due.

I realize that this web site is called Cinema Trasaures and not Theater Treasures, but I think there a very few multiplex theaters
in this country that are truly “treasures”. What makes a theater a treasure is the building itself and that contributes to the experience of seeing and enjoying a film. Back in the day I could see a terrible film at Loew’s Valencia and at least be entertained watching the clouds rolling overhead and the stars twinkling. I can’t do that the local 24 plex. Yet there are many, many bland, homogenous, uninspired multiplex theaters on this site.

I’ve rambled enough! :–)

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on January 18, 2008 at 5:33 pm

No doubt the news comes in time for MLK Day. A walk of fame? Awesome and appropriate.

LuisV
LuisV on January 18, 2008 at 7:52 am

Great news about the restoration of the World Famous Apollo. This item appeared in todays issue of the NY Times:

The Apollo Theater in Harlem is scheduled to close in January 2010 for a major expansion, which is scheduled to last nine months. After a bruising conflict that began in the late 1990s â€" in which a lawsuit against the Apollo by the state attorney general was narrowly averted â€" a new management team was installed in June 2003. The new leadership has successfully completed renovation of the lobby, the seats, the facade and the famous Apollo sign in front. The addition will add 4,000 square feet of usable space by moving offices elsewhere. Officials also plan a “Walk of Fame” out front. About $51.5 million of the needed $96 million has been raised, and public appeals are planned for the rest.