The Apollo Theater was very important in preserving the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance. At the end of the Harlem Renaissance, the Apollo Theater opened its doors to Black performers. This was a historical moment because the Apollo was the first theater to allow Black people to perform.
Some of the best Black performers performed at the Apollo. Icons like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, both young and unknown at the time, performed on the Apollo’s stage. Artists who were famous at the time, like James Brown, also performed at the Apollo. Many Black artists liked to play at the Apollo because it had an atmosphere of acceptance and excitement.
As theaters began to desegregate, fewer performers played at the Apollo. This meant that there was more competition between theaters. The Apollo eventually went bankrupt in the 1970s. In 1991, however, New York State bought the theater and turned it into a non-profit. In addition to giving artists the chance to perform, the nonprofit aims to help the local community through education programs.