Posted by: Josey | January 18, 2009

The Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York City

The jazz event for Bricktop, Queen of the Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem was over. But I wasn’t leaving until I saw the famed stage where I’d watched Sinbad host Showtime at the Apollo in the late ’80s/early ’90s. The theme song played on repeat in my head.

“Excuse me, sir?” I asked the intimidating security guard sitting in a chair next to the elevator near the intimate room where the event had taken place.

“Is there any way I might be able to peek into the theater, I mean, the real one?” I thought I was asking him a massive favor, but he shrugged and told me to take a right and open the first door.


Wow. There was just something about standing alone in that empty space that made me feel really small and a bit awed. I took a photo. Darn this stupid, stupid camera! I silently cursed in frustration. It never takes very good photos in the dark. So I tried again. And again.

“WHO’S THERE?” a woman yelled from the wings of the stage.

“Um, me? I just used to watch the show growing up, so I wanted to take a picture, that’s all. I’m so sorry. I’ll go,” I babbled nervously.

I thought she’d be angry and follow up with “No photography!” for sure, maybe even “No trespassing!” She’d undoubtedly kick me out.

“Aww… Stay as long as you like! And at least let me turn on the lights for ya’!” she replied.





  1. What an awesome shot of the venue. Love the opera boxes.

  2. Your camera takes much better pictures with the lights on! :)

  3. I grew up on 117th Street in Harlem, New York. I love the Apollo, but living there so close, I rarely went it. Good story.

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