Apollo Theatre

223 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 1 - 25 of 129 comments

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 20, 2018 at 10:03 am

I was being sarcastic…

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 20, 2018 at 8:12 am

The Apollo ran movies for decades, most notably under Brandt management as a showcase for foreign imports after their first-run engagements elsewhere.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 19, 2018 at 11:44 pm

Yeah, and a few pictures played there between its burlesque days and legit incarnations.

rszab0 on August 19, 2018 at 9:39 pm

The Apollo theatre was never a Minsky Burlesque. The Minsky’s ran the Republic (New Victory today)The Apollo was operated as a burlesque under Max Wilner and was a burlesque theatre from 1934-1938 Then it was renamed the New Apollo and featured On Golden Pond.

DavidZornig on November 9, 2016 at 9:19 am

Late `50’s photo added courtesy of Al Ponte’s Time Machine – New York Facebook page.

oknazevad on October 13, 2016 at 9:39 am

True. But a big reason for the ShubertShubert dragging their feet on the new theatre on the 45th–46th plot they own (the site of the former Klaw Theatre) is the aforementioned concerns with oversaturation.

The return of the Hudson to legit use is being spearheaded by the Ambassador Theatre Group (the new owners of the Lyric, and the largest owner of West End theatres), not one of the existing big 3. It’s those companies that have resisted adding more theatres, as it would dilute the value of their existing inventory. Apparently, according to the scuttlebutt, ATG looked at the Times Square as well, but the concerns regarding a lack of off 42nd loading area have made them reluctant, as has been the case with prior interested parties as well. The Liberty (which is in far better shape, and has a loading dock on 41st) looks more likely if they were to try to add a third Broadway theatre.

robboehm on September 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm

You’re forgetting the New Victory, which is intimate and used for family faire. The current owners of the Lyric (the combined space of the Apollo and Lyric) are now working to retrofit the Hudson a bit further uptown and on the other side of Broadway. There is talk of the Shubert’s building a new theater on Eight Avenue between 45 and 46. There is also the matter of the Times Square on 42nd which is still idle despite plans to develop it and the Liberty, whose auditorium is still in tact and used for various events.

oknazevad on September 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Fortunately the entire Theatre District (or “Theater Subdistrict” in city planning documents) is subject to all sorts of requirements when it comes to theatre preservation. That’s part of the reason they were removed, because they are already subject to preservation. So the alarmism isn’t necessary.

Of course, the one thing not mentioned in the wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding these theatres is that one screen movie theatres are totally out of the question these days (see the fate of the Ziegfeld), so the only possible use is legit theatre. And the existing Broadway producers and landlords (the Shuberts, Nederlanders and Jujamcyn) were afraid to over saturate the inventory of theatres, so that’s why it took new landlords to even bring back the three that did return to Broadway use, and even then one is Disney’s own (not rented out), one is used just by Roundabout (again, not rented out) and one is a total barn that is only for mega-musicals (and is currently rented to Cirque du Soleil). That inventory issue is a valid concern.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 24, 2016 at 9:46 am

So they destroy in the interiors as much as possible and then claim they are not worth preserving any more, rewarding the vandal owners. Good grief

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 19, 2016 at 5:08 pm

In an effort to brag about the changes they have brought to The Deuce, the New 42nd Street Redevelopment group have actually recreated the old sleaze with almost lifesize photo fronts. You decide.

robboehm on March 8, 2014 at 10:04 am

Well, the 43rd street side of the Lyric facade is more impressive than that of the Apollo. Of course they could really have come up with some amalgams: Ricollo, Apric, Lyap. As you may recall the ANCO was for Ann Cohen.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 8, 2014 at 2:42 am

I am happy to report that the rebuilt theater at this site has new owners and since the contract with Foxwoods is over, they are re-naming this house —wait for it — the Lyric.

(Article is in the New York Times 3/7/14.)

I would have preferred it being called the Lyric Apollo, but the Lyric is the best name this theater has had in years!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I wonder to what extent the original Bryant Theatre was remodeled (if at all) when the Selwyns purchased the site and built the Times Square Theatre around and adjacent to the original entrance. Perhaps the auditorium was preserved and only the lobby foyer reconstructed with the new colonnaded structure? The foyer still exists, seemingly intact from its Apollo days, at least. It serves as an alternative exit from the Foxwoods.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Posted today by bigjoe59 on the Embassy 1,2,3 page:

My original post was about whether the ornate B.F. Moss Regent and the moderate-sized Bunny, both from 1913, were the first theaters built brick-by-brick from the ground up specifically to show to photoplays or flickers as they were called at the time. I asked this because since movies exploded like fire works after their debut at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in April of 1896 i simply couldn’t believe that no theater built expressly to show movies were built until the Regent and Bunny in 1913.

Well, they say if you search long enough you’ll find what you’re looking for. I had always assumed that the Apollo on 42 St.(which was torn down with its neighbor the Lyric to built the theater now known as the Foxwoods Theater) was built from the get-go as a “legit” house to use an old term. Guess what? It was built from the get-go to be a combo movie and vaudeville theater.

So, since the Apollo bests the Regent and the Bunny by 3 years, it takes the crown as the oldest theater I’ve found to date that was built from the get-go to show movies.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Yeah… Well, I suppose it is rather difficult to take a photo of the Apollo’s 42nd Street entrance without including the Times Square, since the Apollo’s entrance foyer ran right through the Times Square building. To get a shot of the Apollo alone, I believe one would have to go around to 43rd Street and photograph the auditorium side wall and old exit doors. Rivoli157, you should browse the images in the photo tab above, where you’ll find a few shots that focus solely (at least as much as possible) on the Apollo itself.

rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 10:28 am

This pic is actually a picture of the Times Square Theatre, -the actual building with the columns. The marquee for the Apollo is the only thing Apollo about it.

Other shows that played the Apollo after a return to legit, “5th of July” with Richard Thomas and “Bent” with Richard Gere and I believe Michael York

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

The female lead is accosted by a masher while looking at Brigitte Bardot displays at the entrance to the Apollo in the John Cassavetes film “SHADOWS”. The scene is a magical snapshot of 42nd street, circa 1959.

robboehm on August 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Seems as tho' theatres change names as often as banks.

William on August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm

The former Ford Center for the Performing Arts / Hilton Theatre will be renamed the “Foxwoods Theatre” soon. Foxwoods Resorts Casino has won the naming rights to the theatre.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I don’t know when the last movie played, but I do remember when it returned to showing movies after its stint as a legit playhouse. It was an odd joy to be in a restored 42nd Street theater, including carpeting, drapes, chandeliers and quality seating, to see “DC Cab” (released 12/16/83).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

Does anyone know the last year it showed movies?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Well, the walls may have been standing but the roof and every single thing in the place that wasn’t removed beforehand were completely demolished — it was a just a very big hole in the ground before the Ford Center was constructed.

robboehm on January 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

The Apollo returned as a Broadway theatre with On Golden Pond after a renovation which included changing the entrance to 43rd Street to get away from 42nd street which had yet to be revitalized. As a result the lobby was very tiny since it was basically the “secondary lobby” which a few Broadway houses had when they ran from street to street. The Imperial is another one which immediately comes to mind. The 43 street entrance was retained when this became a concert venue. The theatre was never actually demolished. The exterior walls, along with those of the Lyric next door were used in the final Ford Center, now Hilton.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Some posters who were regular Apollo patrons found my previous suggestion that the theatre played art but sold sleaze, was offensive.

That photo is a perfect example. “THREE FORBIDDEN STORIES” was never advertised this way anywhere else except perhaps drive-ins.