A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 26, 2004
Tony Award
The "Tony" award goes annually to Broadway's best. The Broadway theatre award was first given out in 1947.

The "Tony" is named after Antoinette Perry (1888-1946), co-founder of the American Theatre Wing. "Wing Launches Perry Awards" was printed in the Daily News (New York, NY) on February 14, 1947. The name "Antoinette Perry Awards" was also printed in the Brooklyn (NY) Citizen on February 14, 1947.

The name "Tony Award" was coined by Brock Pemberton (1885-1950), then president of the League of New York Theatres and who had been a theatrical producer with Antoinette Perry. Pemberton was the founder and the original chairman of the Tony Awards, and he received a posthumous award in 1950.

"Theatre Award Season Here, Stage Folk to Receive Tonys" by John Chapman was printed in the Daily News (New York, NY) on March 27, 1947. Brock Pemberton was quoted:

"Your statement that the stage probably never would have a real Oscar was just a tiny bit inaccurate. It won't have Oscars, but will have their counterpart, Tonys. Haven't you been told about the Antoinette Perry Awards to be given annually in memory of that great lady under the sponsorship of the American Theatre Wing? The first bestowal will take place Sunday night, April 6, in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf and it promises to be one of the best shows of the year. It will be gay and festive with dancing, entertainment by the best in the industry, supper and then the giving of the Tonys to fifteen persons who have done something good for the theatre this year."

The Tony Awards website states, "At the initial event in 1947, as he (Brock Pemberton -- ed.) handed out an award, he called it a Tony. The name stuck." However, the "Tony" name had clearly been used before the first Tony Awards.


Wikipedia: Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Midtown Manhattan.
(...)
The award was founded in 1947 by a committee of the American Theatre Wing (ATW) headed by Brock Pemberton. The award is named after Antoinette Perry, nicknamed Tony, an actress, director, producer and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing, who died in 1946. As her official biography at the Tony Awards website states, "At [Warner Bros. story editor] Jacob Wilk's suggestion, [Pemberton] proposed an award in her honor for distinguished stage acting and technical achievement. At the initial event in 1947, as he handed out an award, he called it a Tony. The name stuck." Nevertheless, the awards were sometimes referred to as the "Perry Awards" in their early years.

The 1st Tony Awards was held on April 6, 1947, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The first prizes were "a scroll, cigarette lighter and articles of jewelry such as 14-carat gold compacts and bracelets for the women, and money clips for the men".

Wikipedia: Antoinette Perry
Mary Antoinette "Tony" Perry (June 27, 1888 – June 28, 1946) was an American actress and director, and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing. She is the eponym of the Tony Awards.

Wikipedia: Brock Pemberton
Brock Pemberton (December 14, 1885 – March 11, 1950) was an American theatrical producer, director and founder of the Tony Awards. He was the professional partner of Antoinette Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing, and he was also a member of the Algonquin Round Table.
(...)
Pemberton gave the Antoinette Perry Award its nickname, the Tony. As Perry's official biography at the Tony Awards website states, "At [Warner Bros. story editor] Jacob Wilk's suggestion, [Pemberton] proposed an award in her honor for distinguished stage acting and technical achievement. At the initial event in 1947, as he handed out an award, he called it a Tony. The name stuck.

Months after his death in 1950, a Tony Award was given to him posthumously in recognition of his role as the founder and the original chairman of the Tony Awards.

Tony Awards
Where It All Began
By Ellis Nassour
The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® got their start in 1947 when the Wing established an awards program to celebrate excellence in the theatre.

Named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing who had recently passed away, the Tony Awards made their official debut at a dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947. Vera Allen, Perry’s successor as chairwoman of the Wing, presided over an evening that included dining, dancing, and a program of entertainment. The dress code was black tie optional, and the performers who took to the stage included Mickey Rooney, Herb Shriner, Ethel Waters, and David Wayne. Eleven Tonys were presented in seven categories, and there were eight special awards, including one for Vincent Sardi, proprietor of the eponymous eatery on West 44th Street. Big winners that night included José Ferrer, Arthur Miller, Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Patricia Neal, Elia Kazan and Agnes de Mille.
(...)
In 1920, approached by Brock Pemberton, a flamboyant press agent turned producer, Ms. Perry, unbeknownst to Frueauff, became an investor, or “angel,” in Pemberton’s production of Zona Gale’s comedy Miss Lulu Bett. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and become a huge hit. Soon Ms. Perry was Pemberton’s silent partner.
(...)
Pemberton memorialized her as “an individualist who met life head on, dramatized life, and gave of a generous nature.” He proposed an award in her honor for distinguished stage acting and technical achievement. At the initial event in 1947, as he handed out an award, he called it a Tony. The name stuck.

Newspapers.com
14 February 1947, Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 49, col. 1:
Wing Launches
Perry Awards

The American Theatre Wing will sponsor the Antoinette Perry Awards, for achievement in all branches of the theatre, to be launched this Spring as a memorial to the late director and wartime Secretary and Chairman of the Board of the Wing. The first awards will be made April 6 at a supper in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria.

Newspapers.com
14 February 1947, Brooklyn (NY) Citizen, pg. 10, col. 4:
Wing to Sponsor Memorial
To Late Antoinette Perry

For the first time, the entertainment industry will give awards to "its own" for achievement in all branches of the theatre. The American Theatre Wing will sponsor the Antoinette Perry Awards to be launched this Spring as a memorial to its great wartime secretary and chairman of the board, who, herself, devoted a lifetime of effort to encourage young actors and new writers in the theatre.

Newspapers.com
16 February 1947, Brooklyn (NY) Eagle, pg. 30, col. 1:
Theater Wing Memorial To Antoinette Perry
For the first time, the entertainment industry will give awards to "its own" for achievement in all branches of the theater. The American Theater Wing will sponsor the Antoinette Perry Awards to be launched this Spring as a memorial to its great wartime secretary and chairman of the board, who, herself, devoted a lifetime of effort to encourage young actors and new writers in the theater.

Newspapers.com
19 March 1947, Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 61, col. 1:
Perry Awards
The American Theatre Wing's first annual presentation of the Antoinette Perry Awards for theatre people for 1946-47 will be made Sunday night, April 6, in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria.

Newspapers.com
24 March 1947, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), pg. 6, col. 1:
Theatre Begins
Perry Awards
Presentations for Merit to
Balance Films' 'Oscar' Rites


Newspapers.com
27 March 1947, Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 67, col. 1:
Theatre Award Season Here,
Stage Folk to Receive Tonys

By JOHN CHAPMAN
(...)
A little while back in this space I noted that the theatre has no equivalent, in the respect and publicity it gets, to the Oscars bestowed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Brock Pemberton, president of the League of New York Theatres, thinks that I am wrong -- that, on an Easter Sunday evening at the Waldorf, the bestowing of Tonys upon deserving stage workers will be every bit as important as the heaping of Oscars in Hollywood. Says Brock:

"Your statement that the stage probably never would have a real Oscar was just a tiny bit inaccurate. It won't have Oscars, but will have their counterpart, Tonys. Haven't you been told about the Antoinette Perry Awards to be given annually in memory of that great lady under the sponsorship of the American Theatre Wing?

15 to Get Tonys.
"The first bestowal will take place Sunday night, April 6, in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf and it promises to be one of the best shows of the year. It will be gay and festive with dancing, entertainment by the best in the industry, supper and then the giving of the Tonys to fifteen persons who have done something good for the theatre this year.

"The Tonys won't be plaster statuettes but will be pieces of jewelry the lucky ones can carry and show with pride. The public is urged to attend and help whip up enthusiasm for the good works of the stage. All this for the price of $7.50."

Newspapers.com
2 April 1947, Brooklyn (NY) Eagle, pg. 13, col. 6:
Stars to Appear at
Perry Awards Supper


Newspapers.com
2 April 1947, Daily News (New York, NY),
Reproduce Canteen
For Perry Awards;
An Atomic Comedy

By DOUGLAS WATT
In an effort to recreate some o the wartime camaraderie that once thrived on W. 44th St., the stage o the original Stage Door Canteen will be reproduced in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Sunday night when the first Antoinette Perry Memorial Awards are handed out by the American Theatre Wing.

7 April 1947, New York (NY) Times, pg. 40, col. 1:
20 STAGE NOTABLES
GET PERRY AWARDS
(...)
Unlike the prizes awarded annually by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Perry Awards do not designate their recipients as "best" or "first," but the classifications in which they are given will be elastic from year to year. The awards are made by directors of the American Theatre Wind in memory of the actress and director who was chairman of the Wing's wartime board.

The award already has been dubbed a "Tony" as he associates called Miss Perry, who died last year. Brock Pemberton, representing the Wing, handed out the awards. For the women, each "Tony" was an initialed sterling silver compact case. The men received engraved gold bill clips.

Newspapers.com
7 April 1947, Daily News (New York, NY),
First 'Tonys'
Awarded by
Theatre Wing

By ROBERT SYLVESTER
The American Theatre Wing, a war-born organization which quite naturally refuses to let a little thing like peace put it out o business, last night took over the Waldorf-Astoria ballroom for the first of ten yearly Antoinette Perry Memorial Awards for varied accomplishments in the theatre.

The first annual award of the Wing's "Tonys" will doubtless cause as much argument as Hollywood's yearly "Oscar" awards.

Newspapers.com
7 April 1947, Pittsburgh (PA) Sun-Telegraph, pg. 3, col. 1:
Frederic March
Wins a 'Tony'


Newspapers.com
8 April 1947, Daily New (New York, NY), pg. 41, col. 1:
First 'Tony' Awards
Of Value to Theater
But Need More Care

By ROBERT SYLVESTER
Herewith some general trade reaction and second day thoughts on the first Antoinette Perry Memorial Awards presented for various theatrical accomplishments by the American Theatre Wing at the Waldorf, Sunday night:

The theatre mob is willing to agree that the presentation of the first "Tonys" was necessarily experimental, but the complaint is pretty general that there is no basic theme behind the awards.

Newspapers.com
12 April 1947, Ottawa (ON) Journal, pg. 13, col. 2:
"Tony" Awards.

Twitter
Kevin C. Fitzpatrick
@k72ndst
Brock Pemberton was a member of the Vicious Circle @algonquinNYC & launched the Tony Awards http://tinyurl.com/38lwmj7
12:50 PM · May 4, 2010

Twitter
The Youngstown Playhouse
@YtownPlayhouse
The Tony Awards were originally called the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. In 1947 the American Theatre Wing head Brock Pemberton handed an award out and called it a Tony. This is when it became known as the Tony Awards.
2:00 PM · Aug 29, 2022

(Trademark)
Word Mark TONY AWARDS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 107. G & S: GIVING OF DINNERS AND THE MAKING OF TELECASTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECOGNITION OF DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE. FIRST USE: 19540328. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19540328
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 72442239
Filing Date November 27, 1972
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED
Registration Number 0979150
Registration Date February 19, 1974
Owner (REGISTRANT) AMERICAN THEATRE WING, INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK 225 PARK AVE. S. NEW YORK NEW YORK 10003
Attorney of Record M. GRAHAM COLEMAN, 2ND,
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20030614.
Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20030614
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark TONY AWARDS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services, namely, the presentation of awards in recognition of distinguished achievement in the theatre; television show production; and educational services, namely, conducting seminars in the field of the theatre. FIRST USE: 19540328. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19540328
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 85675278
Filing Date July 12, 2012
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition January 8, 2013
Registration Number 4308336
Registration Date March 26, 2013
Owner (REGISTRANT) American Theatre Wing, Inc. CORPORATION NEW YORK Suite 501 570 Seventh Avenue New York NEW YORK 10018
Attorney of Record Johanna Schmitt
Prior Registrations 0979150;2280272
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "AWARDS" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20220930.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20220930
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Sunday, September 26, 2004 • Permalink