|Owner||MAMA Group, HMV Group|
|Type||Music and Comedy|
The Hammersmith Odeon is now known as the HMV Hammersmith Apollo and is a major entertainment venue located in Hammersmith, London (UK). Designed by Robert Cromie in an Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace cinema,but later it was known as the Hammersmith Odeon. In 2007, the building was purchased by the MAMA Group and on 14 January 2009, it was announced the Hammersmith Apollo was to be renamed the "HMV Hammersmith Apollo".
The venue was opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace cinema, Hammersmith and seated over 3,500 people. It was designed by Robert Cromie in the Art Deco style.
In 1962 the building was re-named the Hammersmith Odeon, a name many people still use for the venue along with the phonetic abbreviation Hammy-O. The venue was later refurbished and re-named the Labatt's Apollo following a sponsorship deal. Musical Theatre Star Michael Ball was the last person to play Hammersmith when it was named 'Odeon' and the first person to play following its renaming as the 'Apollo', both during his 1993 sell out tour.
In the early 1990s it was again re-named The Hammersmith Apollo. It became a Grade II listed building in 1990 and was upgraded to Grade II* status in 2005.
In 2002 the venue was again re-named, this time to the Carling Apollo after another brewery struck a deal with the owners, US-based Clear Channel Entertainment (spun off as Live Nation (Venues) UK Ltd in 2005).
In 2006, the venue reverted to its former name, the Hammersmith Apollo. Around this time the stalls seats were made removable and now some concerts have full seating whilst others have standing only in the stalls (i.e. no seats). In the latter format the Apollo can accommodate around 5000 people.
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.
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 11 live music venues across the United Kingdom, including the Hammersmith Apollo. As a result, the venue is to be renamed the HMV Apollo. Other venues purchased include The Forum in London's Kentish Town, the Birmingham Institute and Aberdeen's Moshulu.On 30 January 2009 the Britain's Got Talent Auditions wrapped up at the theatre.
Also on 1 and 2 August was the filming location for The X Factor Series 6 Boot Camp.
In Popular Culture
Many bands have released live CDs, videos or DVDs of concerts held at the Apollo, such as the King of Leon, Tears For Fears,Sophie Ellis Bextor and Robbie Williams.Kate Bush released a video and record EP of her concerts at the Odeon from her first and only tour in 1979.Kylie Minogue and Girls Aloud released DVDs of their concerts at the Apollo in 2004 and 2005 respectively. 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 Glorius 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.
Other acts have made music videos featuring clips from performances at the Apollo.An example of this is Kelly Clarkson, who made a special version of her"Breakaway" video using clips from her concert at the Apollo in 2006.
Duran Duran performed at the Hammersmith Odeon many times, first playing the venue during The Faster Than Light Tour in 1981, the 2009 released DVD/CD called Live at Hammersmith '82! was recorded on 16 November 1982 at the Odeon.