The Apollo Celebrates the Opening of The Apollo Stages at The Victoria Theater!

 

 

 

Loew’s Victoria Theatre, 233 West 125th Street. Image via nycago.org

On March 7, 2024, the Apollo officially celebrated the opening of The Apollo Stages at the Victoria Theater ~ the first physical expansion in the institution’s 90-year history ~ with a special ceremony and iconic Apollo Sign-lighting with guests that included Mayor Eric Adams, Empire State Development Commissioner Hope Knight, The Apollo’s Chairman of the Board Charles Phillips, Apollo Chairman Emeritus Richard “Dick” Parsons, Apollo President and CEO Michelle Banks, and Artistic Director Kamilah Forbes, as well as performances by four-time Grammy-nominee Stefan Harris, acclaimed singer Jia Drummond,, the marching band ‘Marching Cobras’ and more.

L-R, Apollo Harlem Community Development Corporation President Curtis Archer, Apollo Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes, Apollo President and CEO Michelle Banks, Apollo Chairman Emeritus Richard “Dick” Parsons, Empire State Development Commissioner Hope Knight, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Apollo’s Chair of the Board Charles Phillips

Attendees toured the new space, highlighting everything from the updated marquee to the theaters’ behind-the-scenes technical aspects. More than 100 New Yorkers were in attendance at the ceremony, from Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Harlem Community Development Corporation President Curtis Archer, leaders of cultural institutions from across the city including National Black Theatre, Apollo board members, and others.

Mayor Eric Adams. Photo by Shahar Azran. Photography/The Apollo

“As The Apollo celebrates its 90th year, the opening of the new Apollo Stages at The Victoria Theater signifies the beginning of a new era for us. With two new theaters, we are able to expand artistic opportunities in the community, but also the role we play here to artists and audiences alike,” said President and CEO Michelle Ebanks at the event. “We are excited to strengthen our support to artists and organizations in Harlem and across New York while expanding our mission to amplify Black voices and opportunities for the next generation of creatives of color.”

The Apollo Stages at The Victoria. Photo by Fernando Gonzalez/The Apollo

The new 25,000-square-foot facility, designed by KGA (Kostow Greenwood Architects), includes two theaters, a central lobby and main floor gallery space that serve as convening points for patrons,, and administrative offices for Apollo staff, visiting artists, and artistic collaborators.

Marching Cobras Marching Band. Photo by Fernando Gonzalez/The Apollo

Take a look back at The Marching Cobras in Marcus Garvey Park & beyond in 2018.

Originally designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, the Victoria Theater structure was said to be one of the largest, and most beautiful theaters in the New York area.  Built in 1917 at a cost of $250,000, it had a seating capacity of over 2,400 and is located on the same block as the historic Apollo Theater and within a block of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Head east on 125th Street to Fifth Avenue and view progress on The National Black Theatre.

While you’re there, don’t miss Alex Harsley: From the Victoria to the Village: A Visual History of Black Creative Spaces, on view in the Gallery through April 30,, 2024.

Take a look back from the groundbreaking ceremony in 2017 to the Grand Opening Ceremony today.