Hammersmith Apollo

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Hammersmith Apollo
Hammersmith Apollo 02.JPG
Venue during its 2013 reopening
Former namesGaumont Palace (1932–1962)
Hammersmith Odeon (1962–1992)
Labatt's Apollo (1992–96)
Hammersmith Apollo (1996–2002; 2006–09; 2013)
Carling Apollo Hammersmith (2002–06)
HMV Hammersmith Apollo (2009–2012)
Location Hammersmith
London, W6
United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°29′27″N0°13′28″W / 51.490747°N 0.224458°W / 51.490747; -0.224458 Coordinates: 51°29′27″N0°13′28″W / 51.490747°N 0.224458°W / 51.490747; -0.224458 :
Public transit District line roundel (no text).svg Piccadilly line roundel (no text).svg Hammersmith
Circle line roundel (no text).svg H&c line roundel (no text).svg Hammersmith
Owner AEG Presents
Eventim UK
Designation Grade II*
Capacity 3,487 (1932–2003)
5,039 (Open seating)
3,632 (Reserved seating)
Opened28 March 1932;87 years ago (1932-03-28)
Construction cost £5 million (2013 renovation)
ArchitectRobert Cromie

The Hammersmith Apollo (currently called the Eventim Apollo, for sponsorship reasons, and formerly – and still commonly – known as the Hammersmith Odeon) is an entertainment venue and a Grade II* listed building [1] located in Hammersmith, London.

Listed building Collection of protected architectural creations in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Hammersmith district in west London, England

Hammersmith is a district of west London, England, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.


Designed by Robert Cromie in Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace, being renamed the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962. It has had a string of names and owners, most recently AEG Live and Eventim UK. [2]

Art Deco Influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France during the 1920s

Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners. It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes held in Paris in 1925. It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

Anschutz Entertainment Group company

The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is an American worldwide sporting and music entertainment presenter and a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. It is the world's largest owner of sports teams and sports events. Under the AEG Presents brand, it is the world's second largest presenter of live music and entertainment events after Live Nation. AEG Presents was started in 2002.

Eventim UK an events and ticket agent

Eventim UK is an events and ticket agent, based in the UK. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Europe's largest ticket retailer, CTS Eventim AG & Co. KGaA.


Hammersmith Apollo, 2008 Hammersmith Apollo 2008 06 19.jpg
Hammersmith Apollo, 2008

The venue was opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace and seated nearly 3,500 people. It was designed by Robert Cromie in the Art Deco style. [3] In 1962, the building was renamed Hammersmith Odeon, a name many people still use for the venue. 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).

Labatt Brewing Company

Labatt Brewing Company Limited is a Belgian-owned brewery in Canada, founded by John Kinder Labatt in 1847 in London, Ontario. Labatt is the largest brewer in Canada.

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 (spun off as Live Nation (Venues) UK Ltd in 2005). The venue's listing was upgraded to Grade II* status in 2005. 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 event was marked by rock band AC/DC playing an exclusive one-off concert and only charging £10 per ticket. All 5,000 tickets sold out in 4 minutes. 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 then changed hands and was bought by the MAMA Group.

AC/DC Australian hard rock band formed in Sydney in 1973

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal; however, the band themselves describe their music as simply "rock and roll".

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. [4] The venue was sold by HMV Group in May 2012 to AEG Live and CTS Eventim. [5] In 2013, the venue was closed for an extensive refurbishment which was carried out by award-winning architect Foster Wilson. [6] The venue reopened as the Eventim Apollo on 7 September 2013, with a concert performance by Selena Gomez. [7] [8]

Selena Gomez American singer, actress, and producer

Selena Marie Gomez is an American singer, actress and producer. After appearing on the children's television series Barney & Friends as a child, she received wider recognition for her portrayal of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place, which aired for four seasons from 2007 until 2012. Gomez has also starred in the films Another Cinderella Story (2008), Princess Protection Program (2009), Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009), Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Getaway (2013) and The Fundamentals of Caring (2016). She voices the character of Mavis in the Hotel Transylvania film franchise, and serves as an executive producer of the Netflix television series 13 Reasons Why.

The Compton pipe organ

Restored organ, 2007 Apollo organ console small.jpg
Restored organ, 2007

The original 1932 Compton pipe organ is still present at the Apollo and was fully restored to playing condition in 2007. [9] 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. However at English Heritage and the council's insistence it has been reinstated and the entire organ restored. A launch party was held on 25 July 2007, at which an invited audience and the media witnessed Richard Hills play the instrument. [10]

John Compton (organ builder) British organ builder

John Compton (1876–1957), born in Newton Burgoland, Leicestershire was a pipe organ builder. His business based in Nottingham and London flourished between 1902 and 1965.

Pipe organ wind instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through pipes selected via a keyboard

The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through the organ pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have multiple ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch, and volume that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops.

View of the stage and proscenium, 2007 Auditorium showing stage.jpg
View of the stage and proscenium, 2007

Many bands have released live albums, videos or DVDs of concerts held at the Apollo, such as Queen, Black Sabbath, Rush, Hawkwind, 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, Motorhead, 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. 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'. [11]

Other acts have made music videos featuring clips from performances at the Apollo; Kelly Clarkson made a special version of her "Breakaway" video using clips from her concert at the Apollo in 2006.

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 .

Noteworthy performances








Led Zeppelin answering questions at a press conference for the premiere of Celebration Day at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2012 Led Zeppelin answering questions, 2012.jpg
Led Zeppelin answering questions at a press conference for the premiere of Celebration Day at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2012
Kanye West, Hammersmith Apollo in 2013 Kanye-alone.jpg
Kanye West, Hammersmith Apollo in 2013
Kate Bush - Before the Dawn, Hammersmith Apollo Hammersmith Apollo, London 05.JPG
Kate BushBefore the Dawn, Hammersmith Apollo

See also

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