The historic Apollo Theater opened during the Harlem Renaissance [the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in the area between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s] and was one of a string of venues Black entertainers were allowed to perform at during segregation (a.k.a. the “Chitlin’ Circuit”). Many of the greats like James BrownJimi Hendrix and The Jackson Five performed at The Apollo.

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The storied venue is now getting a documentary, and famed director Lee Daniels (Empire, Precious) is the man behind the camera. White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair and Jeanne Elfant Festa are producing the project.

Daniels expressed his enthusiasm in the following statement:


I am honored to be entrusted with the story of this incredible American iconic institution and work with this team. I used to go to the Apollo Theater as a kid and never in a million years would I have imagined I would be back to be doing this – it is very special for me.

Daniels and President/CEO of The Apollo Theater, Jonelle Procope, are calling on members of the community to help to put this project together:

We are asking members of the community who have been to the Apollo, who may have parents or grandparents or other family members or friends who have done so, to help us find any material — audience footage, photographs or other memories that we can use in our documentary film.