7. There’s a Tree of Hope “Good Luck Stump” in the Apollo
Billy Mitchell, Tour Director and In-House Apollo Theater Historian behind the Tree of Hope
The Tree of Hope that sits on a pedestal, stage right
The Harlem Lafayette Theater, located on Seventh Avenue between 131st and 132nd Streets was a popular venue, where aspiring entertainers would prepare for a show around a particular tree near the theater. This tree, on the “Boulevard of Dreams,” was thought to be a sort of good-luck charm, since it seemed that those who touched it had great luck with their performances and staying employed. When the street was widened, the tree was cut down. Ralph Cooper was quick to buy a piece of that “good luck stump” and bring it back to the Apollo. Today the stump sits on a pedestal at stage right, where every entertainer can give the traditional rub for good luck before taking the stage.