January 26, 1934

January26Today in 1934, the Apollo Theatre in New York City’s Harlem neighbourhood opened as a showcase for black artists.

The theatre had its start as an all-white music hall and burlesque house in the 1920s and 1930s. It was later renamed and opened with Harlem’s Ralph Cooper, Aida Ward, Benny Carter and his orchestra, and 16 dancers who were billed as Gorgeous Hot-Steppers.

The famous theatre would host incredible acts, like Duke Wellington, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick.

In 1983, it was declared a cultural landmark.

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