September 7, 2013 14:04

London's Hammersmith Apollo reopens as Eventim Apollo following £5 million refit

Refurbished venue will be broken in tonight with a sold-out show by pop singer Selena Gomez

London's Hammersmith Apollo reopens as Eventim Apollo following £5 million refit

Photo: Hammersmith Apollo

Following a £5 million refurbishment, London's Hammersmith Apollo has reopened with a new name.

The 80-year-old venue, which played host to the legendary 1973 gig where David Bowie killed off his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, has been renamed the Eventim Apollo after the German ticketing company that co-owns the building with AEG Live.

The venue was closed for nine weeks while a programme of "historically sensitive" redecoration and restoration was carried out, during which two marble staircases previously concealed by the extended stage have been revived. The first gig at the renamed and refurbished venue will be by pop singer Selena Gomez, who begins a two-night stint at the Eventim Apollo tonight (September 7).

The Art Deco venue opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace cinema and has been renamed on numerous occasions over the years. From the early '60s to the early '90s, it was known as the Hammersmith Odeon, while in more recent years it has been called the Carling Apollo and then the Hammersmith Apollo. It has a capacity of around 3,500 seated and 5,000 standing.

Other bands and artists to have performed at the venue over the years include The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, Prince, Kylie Minogue and The Beatles, who played 38 shows over 21 nights there in late 1964 and early 1965. Kate Bush recorded her concerts at the Apollo for a live video during what would be her only tour to date. Pixies, Paul Weller, Nick Cave and Billy Joel all have shows lined up at the Eventim Apollo in the coming months.

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