An historic institute for African-American dramatic arts, the National Black Theatre enriches the heart of Harlem. Located on the dividing line between East and West Harlem, NBT was founded in 1968 by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, thereby becoming the country's first revenue-generating black theater arts complex.
The neo-classical theater known today as the Apollo Theater was designed by George Keister and first owned by Sidney Cohen. In 1914, Benjamin Hurtig and Harry Seamon obtained a thirty-year lease on the newly constructed theater calling it Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. Like many American theaters during this time, African-Americans were not allowed to attend as patrons or to perform.
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