Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater offers Backstage Tours, seven days a week. For reservations call 212-531-5337 or log onto www.apollotheater.com. Experience The Original Apollo Amateur Night, every Wednesday night at 7:30P, where YOU choose the next Apollo Legend. Tickets can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets or from the Apollo Theater Box Office.
In 1914, the neo-classical theater known today as the Apollo Theater was Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. It was eventually closed down and reopened in 1934 as the 125th Street Apollo Theater, the format changed from burlesque to variety revues and redirected to Harlem’s growing African-American community. After a couple of management changes over the years, in 1981, it was purchased by a group of private investors headed by Percy Sutton, a prominent lawyer, politician, media and technology executive. Under Sutton’s ownership, the 1,506-seat theater was equipped with a recording and television studio.
Historical highlights: In 1937, Count Basie performed with a nervous Billie Holiday. Six years after James Brown won The Apollo’s famous Amateur Night series, he returned in 1962 to cut a live album that would spend 66 weeks on the Billboard charts. George Clinton and Funkadelic performed in 1977. In 1983, the Apollo received state and city landmark status. In 1993, Prince performed a special concert that aired on VH1. Tony Bennett also performed there in 1997, honoring Billie Holiday. In 2007, then presidential candidate Barack Obama took to the stage, sharing jokes with Chris Rock. Amateur Night at The Apollo continues to run every Wednesday. The Apollo Theater is easily reachable by subway; take the A, B, C or D trains to 125th Street.