The theater, which has a capacity of 1,506, opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater, and was designed by George Keister in the neo-Classical style. It became the Apollo in 1934, when it was opened to black patrons – previously it had been a whites-only venue. In 1983, both the interior and exterior of the building were designated as New York City Landmarks, and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is estimated that 1. 3 million people visit the Apollo every year.