The Apollo Theater is Reborn

February 14, 1934. When Adelaide Hall steps onstage at The Apollo Theater, she’s greeted by an audience unlike those she’s experienced before. Hall is already famous—she’s been on Broadway and performed at Harlem’s Cotton Club. But those theaters are segregated. The Apollo has just recently opened its doors to Black audiences, and Hall’s performance there helps put the revamped theater on the map. It marks the beginning of the end of segregated shows. In this roundtable discussion with The Apollo’s resident historian and its executive producer, we explore how this 89-year-old theater with 1,500-seats helped catapult some of the nation's best-known performers to stardom, and how it forever changed American music.

Special thanks to our guests, Kamilah Forbes, The Apollo Theater’s executive producer, and Billy Mitchell, its historian and tour guide. Look out for The Apollo’s multi-stage expansion and renovation, coming in Fall 2023.

Correction: As of publication, The Apollo is 89 years old.

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