Best Hotel Near Apollo Theater
Staying here in Upper Manhattan at the Edge Hotel, you’ve got some of the most famous performance venues in the world right at your fingertips. That illustrious list most certainly includes the historic Apollo Theater, not just a defining physical landmark of the Harlem neighborhood to our south but also a cultural and downright spiritual one as well.
The Apollo Theater: An International Treasure
The Apollo opened in 1914 as Hurtis & Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater, which like many theaters of its day in the U.S. didn’t admit African-Americans.
The burlesque theater closed in 1933 and reopened the next year as a music hall: the 125th Street Apollo Theater. The shift in focus also included a shift in the targeted clientele, as the Apollo began specially catering to Harlem’s black community. Within three years of opening, the Apollo was the biggest employer of black theatrical workers in the country.
Instrumental in showcasing jazz, swing, blues, soul, R&B, and gospel music—including via the long-running TV series Showtime at the Apollo—the Apollo helped launch the careers of some of the greatest names in American music: Billie Holliday, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown, Gladys Knight, Lauryn Hill, and countless others. Simply looking at some winners of the theater’s famous Amateur Night contests (which began with the Apollo’s opening) is astounding: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Ronnie Spector, Jimi Hendrix—to name only a few performers who went on to for-the-ages stardom.
Other performers who’ve graced the Apollo stage over the years—often repeatedly—include the Count Basie Orchestra, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Otis Redding, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, B.B. King, Thelonious Monk, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Prince. Just this past June, Lady Gaga made her first Apollo appearance in a packed show that included more than a few celebrities (Michael Douglas and Amy Poehler among them) in the audience.
The hallowed Apollo stage has also been a site of collective mourning and eulogy: James Brown, who recorded multiple live albums and a TV special at the theater, lay in state here in 2006.
Enjoy Prime Boutique Accommodations Near the Apollo Theater at the Edge Hotel
You’ll be situated just a couple of miles from the Apollo Theater in Harlem as a guest of ours at the Edge Hotel. Take in a show—perhaps one of the fantastic Amateur Nights—and pay your respects to an icon of American culture, one that’s had massive influence on global music. We’d love to host you for easily one of the most thrilling and meaningful experiences to be had in NYC!