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Apollo Theater

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253 W. 125th St., New York, NY 10027 40.809652 -73.949854
nr. Frederick Douglass Blvd.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-531-5300 Send to Phone

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  • Type: Landmarks, Music Venues, Performing Arts Venues
Photo by Tema Stauffer

Official Website

Nearby Subway Stops

1 at 125th St.; A, B, C, D at 125th St.


  • Nearby Parking Lots
  • Street Parking


First time visitors are often surpised at the size. It looks bigger on TV. Although the Apollo’s landmark sign stretches high above most of the surrounding buildings, the theater itself doesn’t seem spacious enough to contain such a grand history. The Apollo opened in 1913 as a whites-only burlesque theater, but it is best known for playing host to legendary African-American artists like Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, and Aretha Franklin. After nearly closing its doors in the 1970s, the renovated Apollo bounced back with a re-vamped Amateur Night ("It's Showtime at the Apollo" on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.), and enough tours and TV shows to cement its celebrated status. Nowadays, comedians like Margaret Cho, Bill Cosby and Paul Mooney as well as musicians like Wynton Marsalis take the same stage where Thelonius Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, and James Brown first took a swipe at fame.

Tree of Hope

This famous hunk of a tree stump worn smooth by Amateur Night performers rubbing it for luck.

The Walk of Fame
A collage of photos of past and present performers lines the walls of the art deco lobby.