Apollo Theater New York City
Apollo Theater – Tourist Attractions in New York City
Apollo Theater in NYC, New York, USA
The Apollo Theater in New York City is one of the most famous clubs for popular music in the United States, and certainly the most famous club associated almost exclusively with African-American performers.
An Apollo Hall had been founded in New York City in the mid-1860s by former Civil War General Edward Ferrero as a dance hall and ballroom. Upon the expiration of his lease in 1872, the building was converted to a theater, which closed shortly before the turn of the century. However, the name “Apollo Theater” lived on.
Founded in 1913 in a different location, the new Apollo Theater was owned by various Jewish families up until World War II. When the Apollo first opened, it was one of New York City’s leading burlesque venues, opened and operated by two of the city’s most influential burlesque operators – Jules Hurtig and Harry Seamon. Open to white-only viewers, the Hurtig and Seamon’s (New) Burlesque Theater would remain in operation until 1928 when Bill Minsky took over and transformed it into the 125th Street Apollo Theater. Sidney S. Cohen, a powerful theatrical landlord, purchased the Apollo in 1932 upon Minsky’s untimely death. The Apollo Theater finally opened its doors to African American patrons in 1934, 20 years after the building’s original opening, showcasing “a colored review” entitled Jazz a la Carte. One of the theater’s first African American Amateur Night participants, a dancer turned singing sensation, was none other than Ella Fitzgerald.