It goes without saying that we are in unprecedented times. And yet, it is also important to recognize that this is not new - as a nation, as a community and as a theater that supports the work of artists who have too often been oppressed, silenced, and ignored. As is all too often the case, the COVID pandemic has disproportionately ravaged Black and Brown communities and created immense personal and financial hardship for many across the country. In addition to our fight for survival, numerous small, Black-owned businesses are struggling, while simultaneously dealing with health challenges or the loss of loved ones due to this virus. There is no minimizing the pain being felt by so many. And then another virus, one which has plagued our country for years, has burst onto our screens and into the media through the murder of George Floyd: eight minutes and forty-six seconds of horror. In the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others, thousands across the country - people of all races and ethnicities are marching and raising their voices to demand justice. It is my hope that we can channel our anger and rage into constructive change.
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Celebrate the 85th anniversary of Harlem's historic home to jazz, swing, bebop and soul. The famous Apollo Theater has been honoring and promoting the contributions of African American performers since The theater was officially designated a New York City Landmark in and welcomes 1. The Apollo Theater proudly prioritizes programming that supports culturally diverse artists based in the United States and internationally. Performers at the Apollo represent the rich diversity of New York City, notably the Harlem and upper Manhattan community. A visit to the Apollo Theater is sure to guarantee an intimate and engaging audience experience and memorable performance. Looking for a getaway opportunity? New York City Toggle navigation. Photo Courtesy of The Apollo Theater.
It is estimated that 1. The building which later became the Apollo Theater was built in —14  and was designed by architect George Keister,  who also designed the First Baptist Church in the City of New York. During the early s, the theatre fell into disrepair and closed once more. In , it was purchased by Sidney Cohen, who owned other theaters in the area,  and after lavish renovations it re-opened as the "Apollo Theater" on January 16, ,  catering to the black community of Harlem. The show ran for a limited engagement and was highly praised by the press, which helped establish the Apollo's reputation. Leo Brecher's Harlem Opera House was another competing venue. To improve the shows at the Apollo, Cohen hired noted talent scout John Hammond to book his shows. However, the deal fell through when Cohen died, and the end result was the merger of the Apollo with the Harlem Opera House. The Opera House became a movie theater, but the Apollo, under the ownership of Brecher and Schiffman, continued to present stage shows. Originally, a typical show presented at the Apollo was akin to a vaudeville show, including a chorus line of beautiful girls.