Friday 12 July, 2024

NYC. Harlem Apollo Theater – The Olympus of Music


Apollo Theater, mostly known as the ‘’Soul of American Culture’’ is a music hall in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. For African-American performers, it is their favorite venue. It is also the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a global syndicated TV series that displayed raw talent, from the year 1987 to 2008. 

Since its inception in 1913, it was a place for art and artists. Founded by Jules Hurtig and Harry Seamon, two burlesque theater operators, and opened as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater.  In 1928 the Apollo was purchased by Bill Minsky and renamed the 125th Street Apollo Theater as Harlem was rapidly becoming the largest urban black community in the country.  However, both the audience and performers at the Apollo remained white. In 2019, the award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams produced a documentary in order to illustrate the history as well as the legacy of the Apollo Theater. This digital production involves footage of performances such as dance, music, behind-the-scenes activities, interviews of both existing and former artists. While in the trailer it recalled the uniqueness of the Apollo Theater which is considered the ‘’Amateur Night’’ and it says ‘’For 82 years people have been coming to the Apollo Theater to boo the amateurs’’.

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