The 'Empire' creator and the Apollo are appealing to members of the public to share any home footage or other memorablia they might have showcasing the theater's 80-year history.
Lee Daniels is set to direct The Apollo Film Project, an authorized documentary chronicling the history of the famed theater in Harlem, White Horse Pictures announced Thursday.
Born out of the Harlem Renaissance and established in 1934, the Apollo became the most prized venue on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” during the time of racial segregation in the United States. Over the years, it also became Harlem's answer to Carnegie Hall, showcasing such artists as Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole, Gladys Knight, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Billie Holiday. And it was a launch pad for numerous musical greats, including Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, and the Jackson Five.
Today, the Apollo hosts more than 100 performances on its stages annually, including artistic offerings from around the globe, robust education and community programs, and shows by some of the most celebrated contemporary artists in the world, such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Smokey Robinson, Metallica and Sam Smith. Amateur Night at the Apollo has been running virtually every Wednesday since it premiered in 1934, and to this day remains a centerpiece of the theater’s performance schedule.