Apollo Theater | Historic & Legendary Music Venue in Harlem, NYC

by NYJ Team

Having enough seats for just more than 1,500 spectators, the Apollo Theater is a historic music venue that’s tied to the Harlem Renaissance. Located in Manhattan, this iconic theater has hosted some of the most successful artists in Jazz, R&B and other genres.

History and Highlights

The Apollo Theater evolved from a performance venue that was known by a different name in the early 20th century. Specializing in burlesque, Hurtig and Seamon’s New was one of the premier theaters of its kind in the 1920’s. Unfortunately, the end of the Roaring Twenties era also marked the rapid decline of this intimate facility in Manhattan.

The Great Depression exacerbated the condition and fate of Hurtig and Seamon’s New. The mayor of New York City ultimately shut down this venue and several other burlesque hubs. Shortly after, the legendary venue reopened with a new mission and vibe.

At the height of the Great Depression, Harlem already had a thriving African American cultural scene. The renovated theater naturally sparked a revival in Jazz and other musical genres that essentially originated from the tight-knit neighborhood. Leo Brecher and Frank Schiffman managed the venue from the middle of the 1930’s until the end of the 1970’s.

A brief closure marked a new era of the Apollo Theater in the 1980’s. Since then, the facility has been a major multimedia hub for various entertainment sectors with a focus on the local African American community. Amateur Night is perhaps the most famous aspect of the Apollo Theater.

Dating back to the club’s early days, this event has allowed countless performers the opportunities to become famous. Some legendary singers who have won the Amateur Night contest include Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick. Today, the iconic music hall still offers amateur singers the chance to impress an audience on the stage.

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Visiting the Apollo Theater

Centrally located in Harlem, the Apollo Theater is easily accessible by the NYC subway. You can take four different lines to the 125th Street station, which is located underneath the busy St. Nicholas Avenue. The subway trains that serve this underground station make multiple stops in Midtown Manhattan. Alternatively, you could ride the subway to the 125th Street Station that’s situated below Malcolm X Boulevard.

Additionally, several MTA buses stop just around the corner of this historic theater. For example, the M2 route runs along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The M10 route makes frequent stops on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Taxis and other vehicles should quickly drop off passengers near the venue’s main entrance on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which merges with W. 125th Street.

Click to visit the Apollo Theater official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

The Music of Carnegie Hall | A Century of Outstanding Concerts

by NYJ Team

The old joke says that the only way to get to Carnegie Hall is to practice.  The truth is that it is a lot simpler than that.  You only need to buy a ticket to enjoy one of the hundreds of concerts performed here every year.

Since it opened in the spring of 1891, Carnegie Hall has attracted the world’s best musicians of all kinds to this stretch of Seventh Avenue just south of Central Park.  The building gets its name from its benefactor, the great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and it has become one of the most famous concert venues in the world

Inside Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall holds three auditoriums.  The main hall is the Isaac Stern Auditorium; home to the Perelman Stage and nearly three thousand seats.  The hall is named for gifted violinist Isaac Stern, and it is one of the most honored stages in the United States.  It is famous for its perfect acoustics and the stage has been graced by some of the world’s biggest talents, from Vladimir Horowitz to Groucho Marx.

Zankel Hall is the newest venue at Carnegie Hall, and it features a much smaller venue, with just 600 seats.  Concerts here showcase contemporary classical, pop and jazz musicians, as well as chamber music.

The Weill Recital Hall is even more intimate, holding under 300 seats.  It hosts master classes, panel discussions and often plays host to the debut of a young and upcoming artist.

The Design of Carnegie Hall
Aside from the music, the architecture of Carnegie Hall also stands as tribute to the arts.  It was one of the last large masonry buildings constructed in New York.  Its white and gold interior is restrained.  Architect William Burnett Tuthill drew inspiration from all of Europe’s best concert halls.

Tuthill did away with the heavy curtains and chandeliers that were considered so fashionable at the time, as his research told him they interfered with the sound.  Instead, the unadorned design, the domed ceiling and the elliptical shape of the halls have all helped establish Carnegie Hall’s reputation as having perfect acoustics. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

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The History of Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall opened with the music of Russian composer Tchaikovsky, since then it has seen more than 45,000 of the best concerts in the world.  Over the next century of music, the world’s greatest symphonies, singers and musicians have graced these stages, including the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Duke Ellington’s Orchestra, Harry Belafonte, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, the Beach Boys and the Beatles.  The New York Philharmonic has played at Carnegie Hall more than 5,000 times.

The hall has seen the world premieres of several of the world’s best orchestras and works of music, including works from Dvořák, Strauss, Gershwin, Ellington and Glass.

Seeing a Concert at Carnegie Hall
With hundreds of performances every season, there are plenty of chances to take in the history and legend of Carnegie Hall.  You can buy tickets directly from Carnegie Hall’s website.  If there is a specific show you have in mind, plan ahead and buy your tickets early. Demand is high.  There are discounts for group purchases and seats with obstructed sight lines or limited leg room are sold at a 50 per cent discount.

There are also a limited number of public rush tickets available on a first come, first serve basis on the day of the performance.  These tickets are sold only at the Carnegie Hall box office and go for as little as ten dollars.  Line up early.

Beacon Theatre in New York City

by NYJ Team

The Beacon Theatre is located on Broadway in New York City, New York. It is operated by Madison Square Garden and is the number one live music hall in the country. Built in the late 1920’s, this historic landmark offers three different levels of concert and event space that accommodates hundreds of patrons for each event. The Art Deco building is inviting with its Brazilian wood floors making this the most versatile space for any event.

Sister site to Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre has been a legendary rock house since 1926 when Herbert Lubin conceived the building with dreams of turning it into the Roxy Theatre. The goal in mind was to become a part of the movie places in New York City hosting 6000 seats and to become the number one entertainment capital of the world.

The theatre was designed by Walter Ahlschlager, a Chicago architect in Art Deco design. It was first opened to the public as an opera, movie, musical production and vaudeville acts venue. It was named as a national landmark in 1979 by the National Register of Historic Places. The Beacon Theatre was the very first concert venue to offer IMAX in 1991 for the Rolling Stones at the Max film.

The Theatre joined MSG Entertainment in 2006 becoming part of the world class venue family and continues to grow to what music lovers know as the rock house of the world.

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Concerts and Events, Past and Present
The theatre is known for its flawless acoustics that was designed for moving pictures and musical events, past concerts, events and current shows. Many rock concerts have taken place as well as awards shows, president’s birthday celebrations and much more.

It has become a favorite destination since the twenties and gains in popularity daily for its rock concerts, R&B events and other musical genre.

Some of the greatest names in the music industry have and continue to make their appearance at the Beacon. Aerosmith, Queen, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, James Taylor and Jerry Garcia are just some icons of the music industry that have performed in past shows. The Allman Brothers have an annual concert that takes place every spring.

This is known as the Beacon Run and has been a memorable event since 1989.
Many operatic events take place such as Madame Butterfly and Ballet on Broadway. Rental space is available with catering upon request and other amenities.

Visiting the Beacon Theatre
Concessions and restrooms are available during normal business hours. Ensuring each visitor experiences nothing but entertainment and the right accommodations, there are disabled services available for patrons that need assistance. Emergency Medical Technicians are in-house for each event. Ticket prices and hours vary depending on each event.

Visit the Beacon Theatre website for detailed information and to browse through the calendar of events to plan your trip to the number one iconic theatre of New York City. For accommodations the Beacon Hotel is located across the street offering Beacon Theatre visitors special rates.