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The Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater re-opened its doors on this day in 1934.

Originally known as the Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater when it opened in 1914, the venue was open to "Whites Only". Fiorello LaGuardia (prior to his mayorship) started a campaign to close down the city's burlesque joints. Owner Sidney Cohen repurposed The Apollo Theater to a new show format, and opened up the venue to the growing African-American community of Harlem.

Performers of soul, R&B, jazz, vaudeville, rock and roll, swing, gospel music, and comedy made their way to the stage. Some were discovered there, like Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, James Brown & the Famous Flames, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Ben E. King, Diana Ross & the Supremes, and so many more.

Audition Night gave way to the famous Apollo Amateur Night.
United States
January 26, 1934
photograph | apollo | apollotheater | neoclassical | wherestarsarebornandlegendsaremade | harlemrenaissance | performance | art | music | comedy | landmark | NYC | nychistory | blackhistory | onthisday
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