After its inception in 1914, the Apollo Theater quickly became one of the most beloved places in Harlem. It played a major role in the growth of several American music forms, such as jazz, swing, and blues.
The Apollo, as locals call it, achieved landmark status in 1991 and continues to devote itself to the advancement of black artists. Above all, the Apollo theater serves as a venue that fosters diversity and stores immense talent.
Over the years, stars such as Ella Fitzgerald and Luther Vandross have graced its stage. However, there is still room for up-and-comers on the venue’s Amateur Nights. Amateur Night has crowned iconic performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Mariah Carey, and the Jackson 5 on its stage.
Additionally, the Apollo used to be a venue for the production of numerous shows. One of the most prominent shows, Showtime at the Apollo, aired until 2008. The show presented various talents and culminated in almost 1,100 total episodes.
While the goal of the theater is to establish legacy, it also creates room for novice performers to explore and develop their talents. The theater specifically focuses on cultivating cultural diversity and involving “artists who represent the rich diversity of New York City, especially the Harlem and upper Manhattan community.” Its ultimate goal is to build “an institution that has a deeper and long-term connection with culturally diverse communities.”
Visitors can purchase tickets for Amateur Night, which encompasses two riveting categories in addition to the original show. Top Dog showcases competitors vying for the top spot and the top prize of up to $20,000. Beyond that, Show Off brings together past winners of Amateur Night and pushes them to compete with one another for a spot in the Top Dog semi-finals.
The Apollo features exciting and nuanced performances that range from concerts to comedy shows to dance numbers. The Apollo offers group-guided tours to 20 or more people that must be scheduled in advance.