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

by Denise Marie

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.

The legendary Apollo Theater

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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.

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

The Lincoln Center | Known as the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts

by Denise Marie

The Lincoln Center is located in the Upper West Side of New York City. It is technically known as the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts. For the last 10 years Reynold Levy has been the president that foresees the 16.3 acre complex. Ever since the doors first opened the center has been committed to bringing the best performing arts to visitors from all parts of the world.

The center is home to many major performance arts events and was the first ever center to offer wheelchair seating and to accommodate disabled visitors. There are around 17 blocks of neighboring buildings that make up the center.

History of the Lincoln Center
The mid 1950’s is when Robert Moses created his master plan for Manhattan. It was envisioned to create and develop a major performing arts center that would be recognized worldwide by an audience with diverse views and from all walks of life. Many architects played a part with the creation of the center such as Wallace Harrison, Max Abramovitz, Pietro Belluschi, Gordon Bunshaft, Davis, Brody and Associates, Philip Johnson and Eero Saarinen.

In 1955 is when the Lincoln Center was designated for urban renewal and incorporated in 1956. The Avery Fisher Hall was the first complex to open back in 1962 and the renovation of the north and central plazas were unveiled in 2010.

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The Lincoln Center offers 41 on-campus venues including the following: Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, The Metropolitan Opera House, The Vivian Beaumont Theater, The Mitzi e. Newhouse Theater, The Walter Reade Theater, Barclays Capital Grove, Broadway Plaza, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Charles B. Benenson Grove, Clark Studio, Daniel and Joanna S Rose Studio, Damrosch Park, David Rubenstein Atrium, David H Koch Theater, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Dorothy and Lewis B Cullman Center, Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center, Film Center Amphitheatre, Francesca Beale Theater, Frank A Bennack Jr Courtyard, Hearst Plaza, Howard Gilman Theater, Illumination Lawn, Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center Theater, Morse Hall, North Plaza, Paul Hall, Paul Milstein Pool, Peter Jay Harp Theater, The New York Public Library, The Julliard School, The Allen Room, Stephanie P McClelland Drama Theater, Stanley H Kaplan Penthouse, South Plaza, Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater, Rose Building, Rose Theater and Ronald P Stanton Way.

There are currently two off campus venues that include the New York City Center and the Booth Theater.

Visiting the Lincoln Center
There are many tours along with a variety of performances while visiting the center. Eateries include a wide variety of different cuisines such as a luncheon café, food and wine, espresso bars, private dining sectors and lounges. There are many shopping venues including gift shops, bookstores and the Performing Arts Shop where you may purchase collectibles and prints.

If you plan to visit New York City you can reach the Lincoln Center by taxi, bus and cab. You can view the annual schedule of events online and can purchase tickets by visiting the box office or the main website.

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