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Apollo Theater

Few other places in the world get as much credit for creating and nurturing American music genres as does this famous theater.

For over a century, the Apollo Theater has been the soul of American culture and the heart of American music genres, from jazz to soul to pop to rap. Attend a concert at this historic theater, both a cultural icon and a historic city landmark.

Reflect on the Apollo’s history, as interesting as its modern performances. The Apollo opened in 1914 as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater, which like most theaters of the time, prohibited black performers or guests. Reopening as the 125th Street Apollo Theatre in 1934, the auditorium began marketing to African-American audiences and initiated a popular Amateur Night. Early winners included Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey.

Over the years, the theater welcomed many emerging and established artists, with Sarah Vaughn and Ruth Brown in the ‘40s, Dionne Warwick and James Brown in the ‘50s, Gladys Knight and Jimi Hendrix in the ‘60s, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King in the ‘70s, Diana Ross in the ‘80s and Prince in the ‘90s. Showtime at the Apollo presented rising talents to television audiences. Attend an Amateur Night performance today to help initiate the career of the next rising star in the music world. Audience members select winners for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places as well as a child star of tomorrow.

The theater hosts not only amateur singers, but also professional performers. Laugh over drinks at the Apollo Comedy Club. Dance groups such as Ballet Hispanico make regular stops. The Classical Theatre of Harlem has presented a holiday favorite The First Noel. Lectures, panel discussions and even election debates come to this famous stage.

Find the current schedule of events on the theater’s website. If you have talent, audition for a spot to compete on the stage. Amateur Night is every Wednesday and the Comedy Club occurs monthly. Purchase tickets online to be sure to get a seat. Stop at the gift shop for souvenir clothing and other items.

The subway and Metro North Railroad have stops within several blocks of the theater. Come to Harlem to see a performance at the Apollo Theater, truly a night to remember.

Get the most out of your time at Apollo Theater. Here is a list of some of the most popular activities:

For even more things to do, check out our New York things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Apollo Theater


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Apollo Theater

See all 5,058 properties near Apollo Theater
Aloft Harlem CA $168
Aloft Harlem

Aloft Harlem

2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Harlem, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Apollo Theater and Columbia University. Central Park and Mount Sinai Hospital are also within 2 miles (3 km). 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is only a 3-minute walk and 116 St. Station (Frederick Douglass Blvd.) is 8 minutes.

    Beautiful Prewar Brownstone Studio
    Beautiful Prewar Brownstone Studio

    Beautiful Prewar Brownstone Studio

    241 West 123rd Street, New York, NY
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Harlem, this historic apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Apollo Theater, Columbia University and Central Park. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art are also within 3 miles (5 km). 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is only a 5-minute walk and 125 St. Station (Malcolm X Blvd.) is 7 minutes.

      Northern Lights Mansion CA $223
      Northern Lights Mansion

      Northern Lights Mansion

      210 West 122nd Street, New York, NY
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Harlem, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Apollo Theater and Columbia University. Mount Sinai Hospital and Yankee Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km). 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is 6 minutes by foot and 125 St. Station (Malcolm X Blvd.) is 7 minutes.

        Clean King Bedroomprivate Bathelevatorcentral Parkharlem
        Clean King Bedroomprivate Bathelevatorcentral Parkharlem

        Clean King Bedroomprivate Bathelevatorcentral Parkharlem

        273 W 122nd St, #5, New York, NY
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Harlem, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Apollo Theater and Columbia University. Central Park and Mount Sinai Hospital are also within 2 miles (3 km). 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is only a 5-minute walk and 116 St. Station (Frederick Douglass Blvd.) is 7 minutes.

          Large One Bedroom on Scenic NYC Street
          Large One Bedroom on Scenic NYC Street

          Large One Bedroom on Scenic NYC Street

          150 W 123rd St, New York, NY
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Harlem, this historic apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Apollo Theater, Central Park and Columbia University. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art are also within 3 miles (5 km). 125 St. Station (Malcolm X Blvd.) is only a 4-minute walk and 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is 8 minutes.

            Newly Renovated 1BR Penthouse Apt In Peaceful Brownstone
            Newly Renovated 1BR Penthouse Apt In Peaceful Brownstone

            Newly Renovated 1BR Penthouse Apt In Peaceful Brownstone

            203 West 121st Street, Apt 3, New York, NY
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Harlem, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Apollo Theater and Columbia University. Central Park and Mount Sinai Hospital are also within 2 miles (3 km). 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is 7 minutes by foot and 125 St. Station (Malcolm X Blvd.) is 8 minutes.

              Sankofa Guest Apartment--a Portal for the Soul
              Sankofa Guest Apartment--a Portal for the Soul

              Sankofa Guest Apartment--a Portal for the Soul

              157 W. 121st St, New York, NY
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Harlem, this romantic apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Apollo Theater, Central Park and Columbia University. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art are also within 3 miles (5 km). 125 St. Station (Malcolm X Blvd.) is 6 minutes by foot and 116 St. Station (Malcolm X Blvd.) Station is 8 minutes.

                Private Town House Garden Level. Minutes From Columbia University!
                Private Town House Garden Level. Minutes From Columbia University!

                Private Town House Garden Level. Minutes From Columbia University!

                359 W 122nd St, Garden Level, New York, NY
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Manhattan, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Columbia University and Apollo Theater. Central Park and Mount Sinai Hospital are also within 2 miles (3 km). 125 St. Station (St Nicholas Av.) is only a 4-minute walk and 116 St. Station (Frederick Douglass Blvd.) is 9 minutes.