The Hammersmith Apollo, currently called the Eventim Apollo for sponsorship reasons, but formerly (and still commonly) known as the Hammersmith Odeon, is a live entertainment performance venue, originally built as a cinema, located in Hammersmith, London. It is an art deco Grade II* listed building.
|Former names||Gaumont Palace (1932–1962)|
Hammersmith Odeon (1962–1992)
Labatt's Apollo (1992–1996)
Hammersmith Apollo (1996–2002; 2006–2009, 2013)
Carling Apollo Hammersmith (2002–2006)
HMV Hammersmith Apollo (2009–2012)
Eventim Apollo (2013–present)
|Public transit|| Hammersmith|
5,039 (Open seating)
3,632 (Reserved seating)
|Opened||28 March 1932|
|Construction cost||£5 million (2013 renovation)|
The venue has hosted numerous concerts by major stars, including the Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Iron Maiden, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington amongst many others.
Designed by Robert Cromie, who also renovated the Prince of Wales Theatre, in the Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace, with a seating capacity of nearly 3,500 people, being renamed the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962. It has had a string of names and owners, most recently AEG Live and Eventim UK. It became a Grade II listed building in 1990. The venue was later refurbished and renamed Labatt's Apollo following a sponsorship deal with Labatt Brewing Company (1993 or 1994).
In 2002, the venue was again renamed, this time to Carling Apollo after Carling brewery struck a deal with the owners, US-based Clear Channel Entertainment, now iHeartMedia, inc. The event was marked by rock band AC/DC playing a one-off concert. All 5,000 tickets sold out in 4 minutes. In 2003, the stalls seats were made removable and now some concerts have full seating whilst others have standing-only in the stalls. In the latter format, the venue can accommodate around 5,000 people. The venue's listing was upgraded to Grade II* status in 2005. In 2006, the venue reverted to its former name, the Hammersmith Apollo. In 2007, the original 1932 Compton pipe organ, still present from the building's days as a cinema, was restored. The building was then bought by the MAMA Group.
On 14 January 2009, a placing announcement by HMV Group revealed that by selling additional shares, the company would raise money to fund a joint venture with the MAMA Group, to run eleven live music venues across the United Kingdom, including the Hammersmith Apollo. As a result, the venue was named HMV Apollo from 2009 until 2012. Other venues purchased include The Forum in London's Kentish Town, the Birmingham Institute and Aberdeen's Moshulu. The venue was sold by HMV Group in May 2012 to AEG Live and CTS Eventim. In 2013, the venue was closed for an extensive refurbishment which was carried out by architect Foster Wilson. The venue reopened as the Eventim Apollo on 7 September 2013, with a concert performance by Selena Gomez.
The original 1932 Compton pipe organ remains installed at the Apollo and was fully restored to playing condition in 2007. It has a four-manual console which rises through the stage on a new lift and about 1,200 organ pipes housed in large chambers above the front stalls ceiling. Having fallen into disrepair, the organ was disconnected in the 1990s and the console removed from the building. At the insistence of English Heritage and the local council, however, it was reinstated and the entire organ restored. At a launch party, on 25 July 2007, an invited audience and media representatives witnessed a recital by Richard Hills.
Many bands have released live albums, videos or DVDs of concerts held at the Apollo, such as Queen, Black Sabbath, Rush, Hawkwind, Iron Maiden, Celtic Frost, Kings of Leon, Tears for Fears, Dire Straits, Frank Zappa, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Erasure, Spear of Destiny, Motörhead, and Robbie Williams. In September 1979 Gary Numan recorded his Touring Principle show at the venue. Kate Bush released a video and record EP of her concerts at the Odeon from her first tour in 1979. Duran Duran recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon on 16 November 1982 and released Live at Hammersmith '82!. Depeche Mode made one of its first concert videos for a Danish television at the Hammersmith on 25 October 1982. Dire Straits played the final two concerts of their eight-month long Love Over Gold Tour at the Odeon on 22–23 July 1983, and the resulting album Alchemy: Dire Straits Live was released the following year.
Kylie Minogue performed a one-off concert in the venue in 2003 and released a DVD of the performance in 2004. Minogue also performed the last show of her Anti Tour in the venue on 3 April 2012. Girls Aloud released a DVD of their concert at the Apollo in 2005. A DVD of a Bruce Springsteen concert held there in 1975 was released as part of the Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package; later the CD Hammersmith Odeon London '75 was released. Melodic death metal band In Flames also released a DVD that featured footage of a December 2004 performance there. Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard's show Glorious was also released as a DVD. Rush recorded their 1978 performance and later included it in their three-disc set, Different Stages. American musician Tori Amos released a series of six live albums in 2005 known as The Original Bootlegs, one of which was recorded at the Apollo. Photographs of The Who outside the Hammersmith Odeon appear on their 1973 album Quadrophenia. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour performed three nights at the venue in April 1984 which was documented on the David Gilmour Live 1984 concert film. These shows are of note as Roy Harper guested on "Short and Sweet" and Gilmour's Pink Floyd bandmate Nick Mason played drums on "Comfortably Numb". In 1984 the London-based heavy metal band Iron Maiden recorded side 4 of their double live album 'Live After Death' at the venue. Iron Maiden's affection for the Hammersmith Odeon also resulted in the filming of a 1982 performance which was subsequently released as 'Beast over Hammersmith'.
The Hammersmith Apollo is seen in the American romantic comedy film Just My Luck where McFly perform. In the movie, the venue stands-in for the Hard Rock Café. It is also the location in The Football Factory where the Chelsea fans board the bus for Liverpool. It is mentioned in the poem "Glam Rock: The Poem" by the poet Robert Archambeau. The exterior of the (then) Gaumont Palace was used as the "Grand" cinema in the 1957 British film The Smallest Show on Earth.
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