The building now known as the Apollo Theater first opened in 1914 as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater, but the building that would become an African-American icon in New York City first began in 1934. Located at 125th Street in Harlem, the Apollo began featuring variety shows that would eventually launch some of the biggest careers in music history.
As it shifted its attention to the flourishing African-American community in Harlem, the Apollo’s Amateur Night gave unknown performers like Michael Jackson, James Brown and Lauryn Hill a prominent stage. Amateur Night, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009, still runs every Wednesday night, while the Apollo Theater continues to host concerts, performing arts and community programs.
Watch below as future R&B star Jazmine Sullivan makes her debut on the Apollo Theater stage:
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