Since 2010, Revlon chairman Ronald Perelman has been having a summer fundraiser on his Hamptons estate for the Apollo Theater. Rock stars, R&B legends, celebrities have all passed through the gates of The Creeks, next to Il Mulino restaurant in Wainscott, on Route 27.
But according to tax forms filed by the Apollo Theater, the annual Hamptons bash has cost the cash starved not- for-profit landmark theater millions in expenses. The events have raised millions, too, obviously. But previously it was thought that Perelman– who Forbes says is worth $9.9 billion– picked up the costs of staging the all-star rock & R&B shows. He wasn’t.
Instead, it turns out the Apollo has paid out almost $3 million in expenses for entertainment, “other direct costs,” and two summers ago, rental of the facility.
This may come as a surprise to performers like Jon Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys, et al, not to mention classic R&B stars like Sam Moore and Smokey Robinson who have an actual historical connection to the Apollo. Perelman has often joined the house band, the Roots, to play drums.
According to an insider connected to the annual soiree, it was only last year– for which tax records haven’t appeared yet– that Perelman stopped charging half the expenses to the Apollo Foundation. As recently as 2016, the Apollo was billed $217,792 for entertainment, $25,144 for “other direct expenses,” and $33,820 for facility charges– i.e. rent!
The summer before, 2015, the expenses included $367,726 for entertainment, and $147,996 for “other.” Similar charges go back for 2014, 2013, and 2012, all detailed in the Apollo’s filings.
“Ronald always split the expenses with the Apollo,” a source says. “Last year he decided to pay for all of them.”
Every penny counts at the Apollo, which remains a landmark and a beacon of Harlem on West 125th St. In 2017, their total revenue was $19 million. Total expenses were just under $17 million. Salaries are not high. Their CEO makes less than $300,000 to run what is an international cultural institution.
The Hamptons event is one of two big annual fundraisers for the Apollo, which also has a gala at the theater in June. The gala raises about the same amount of money– an average of $2 million– as Perelman’s blow out — and also incurs expenses.
The next Apollo in the Hamptons concert is set for August 11th.