45 Queen Caroline Street Hammersmith, London, W6 9QH
Nearest Tube: Hammersmith
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.