The Real Deal New York

Apollo Theater launches fundraising campaign

January 31, 2014 08:43AM

Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, which turned 80 last week, has kicked off a campaign to raise $20 million in public funding.

The 253 West 125th Street venue has already secured $10 million of the goal via philanthropic and corporate gifts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The theater, where Ella Fitzgerald won the notoriously tough Amateur Night contest in 1934 at age 15 and Charlie Parker plucked his jazz strings in 1950, was a commercial venture until it became a nonprofit organization in 1991. Capital improvements bolstered a revamp of the building’s facade in 2005, along with upgrades to the theater’s seats and stage.

In 2012, the theater received a $150,000 chunk of $3 million in historic preservation funds administered by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. [WSJ]Julie Strickland