The Apollo Theater

By T-Boye Doe, Contributing Writer

T-Boye Doe is a new contributing writer for Community Arts NYC.  T-Boye Doe is a thirty-something year old independent film-maker from Brooklyn, New York, and is one of our New York based writers. Check out his introductory post here.

Since its inception in 1914 on a desolate street in Harlem , New York , with the premises of being a burlesque theater. The Apollo Theater has became the mecca of creating talented individuals in the different realms of entertainment. As well as becoming a staple of historic pride amongst the African-American community. When the facility was shut down by then mayor of NY “Fiorello La Guardia” for its indecency and lewd acts of conduct . The theater re-opened in 1934, with the opportunity to bring back respectability to the Apollo name and jump on the pulse of the new, black renaissance that was sweeping through Harlem in that era.

In 1933 at young, black visionary “Ralph Cooper” created the long-established , highly popular “Apollo Amateur Night”. Which was created for those with raw talent that may have gone unlooked by major record labels or “Talent Agencies” during that decade . Apollo has birthed some the greatest performers in music from a young Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Lauryn Hill the list continues. As time progress the Apollo was the hotbed for all things media and in the 90’s , they were awarded a television deal with media conglomerate “NBC” to host their own one hour variety show, “Showtime At The Apollo”. Which birthed the career of successful comedian “Steve Harvey”.

Fast forward to 2013, the Apollo is still going strong with a revamped to the theater. A new distribution deal with urban cable giant “BET” to showcase their revised concept called “Apollo Live,” with comedian Tony Rock (famous comedian Chris Rock’s brother) and the same high paced atmosphere the made the Apollo a huge impact with the black experience.


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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