253 W. 125th Street,
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The Apollo Theater (Official)
Architects: George W. Keister
Functions: Live Performances
Previous Names: Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater, 125th Street Apollo Theater
- Loew's Victoria Theatre
- Harlem Opera House
- AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9
- RKO Alhambra Theatre
- Sunset Theater
News About This Theater
Probably one of the most famous theaters in New York. Originally opened on December 15, 1913 as a burlesque theatre. By 1930 it had gone over to screening movies as the 125th Street Apollo Theater.
It underwent a refurbishment and redecoration re-opening as the 125th Street Apollo Theatre on 26th January 1934 with a full stage show “Jazz a la Carte” and a British feature film starring Emlyn Williams “The Frightened Lady” (US title-“Criminal at Large”). Gradually stage shows became a more important part of the programme than the movies.
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Recent comments (view all 56 comments)
I can’t believe that no one posted about the live “Dreamgirls” engagement that occurred at the Apollo back in late 2009! (Myself included) It was incredible to be in the Orchestra seats watching this phenomenal show that actually has, as its opening scene, an amateur night performance set in the world famous Apollo! Though this production didn’t hold a candle to the original Broadway version with Jennifer Holliday, it was very enjoyable nonetheless made that much more special because it WAS the Apollo A wonderful presentation for one of New York’s most historic theaters.
I wonder why, as a longtime member of this site, I can’t find any info whatsoever about the OTHER Apollo in Manhattan, the one that stood on 42nd Street, near the Times Square, Victory, and Lyric Theaters? Can anyone help me out? Sometimes this site is extremely hard to navigate, for even the seasoned user, and I know that one of the reasons is that some theaters operated under a variety of names, and there’s no cross-referencing here. I wanted to help out a friend who had a question regarding the Apollo on 42nd Street, but I can’t refer him here, since even I can’t find it!
Ed, sometimes when you type in the name of another theatre, say Victory, Times Square , Lyric etc, and go to that page then it will list nearby theatres. The Apollo might be found that way. I know that’s how I’ve had to do to find certain theatres in New Jersey.
Here a vintage photo of the Apollo with a fade to the present day, via the What Was There website.
According to this link (http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/united-states/new-york/new-york?q=apollo&status=all), there have been no fewer than 3 “Apollo” Theatres in NYC. The “famous” one in Harlem (125th Street) is the only one extant. There was one on 42nd Street (Times Square) and the one I spoke of earlier in these comments, on Clinton Street, west of Williamsburg Bridge, both now demolished.
A new feature documentary on the history and significance of the Apollo Theatre can currently be viewed on HBO. Trailer here
CBS Morning News segments from 11/22-23/2019 regarding the documentary Comfortably Cool just mentioned:
Upcoming screening of “Shaft” with a live soundtrack accompaniment.
Alamy link with a 1948 photo.
Jonelle Procope, the longtime president and chief executive of the Apollo Theatre, will be departing in June. Details here