The Apollo Mission Footprint

Managed by Morris Sussman, Cohen’s Apollo Theatre had vigorous competition from other venues, such as the Lafayette, managed by Frank Schiffman, which presented acts such as Louis Armstrong, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Bessie Smith and Eddie Green. Leo Brecher’s Harlem Opera House was another competing venue. To improve the shows at the Apollo, Cohen hired noted talent scout John Hammond to book his shows. However, the deal fell through when Cohen died, and the end result was the merger of the Apollo with the Harlem Opera House. The Opera House became a movie theater, but the Apollo, under the ownership of Brecher and Schiffman, continued to present stage shows. Schiffman hired Clarence Robinson as in-house producer,