Harlem, NY – (September 16, 2019) – The Apollo Theater is presenting a free screening of the HBO Documentary Film The Apollo on Friday October 4th at 7:00 p.m., in advance of its HBO premiere. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with members of the creative team.
Directed by Oscar® and Emmy® winner Roger Ross Williams. The Apollo chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of the Apollo Theater over the last 85 years from a refuge for marginalized artists to being a hallowed hall of black excellence and empowerment. The film weaves together archival clips of music, comedy and dance performances; behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run; and interviews with such artists as Common, Jamie Foxx, Savion Glover, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson and Pharrell Williams. In addition to the examination of its archives, the film offers an in-depth look at the present-day venue, spotlighting the 2018 multi-media stage adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed book “Between the World and Me” as it comes together on the theater’s grand stage. In the film, Williams explores not only the struggle of black lives in America, but the role that art plays in that struggle, and the essential part the Apollo continues to play in the cultural conversation, lighting the path forward. Produced by Lisa Cortes, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann. Executive produced by Nigel Sinclair, Dan Cogan, Nicholas Ferrall and Julie Goldman.
Last April, The Apollo made its debut on the opening night of the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival at the Theater. Notable attendees included Robert DeNiro, Smokey Robinson, Angela Bassett, BeBe Winans, Michael Keegan Key, Questlove, Dapper Dan, and Bevy Smith.
Tickets for The Apollo screening are free and open to the public. Advance tickets for this event are sold out. A limited number of standby tickets may be released on October 4. Standby tickets will be available on a first come, first-served basis in-person only at the Apollo Theater box office beginning at 6:30pm.
About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo, 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella, the annual Africa Now! Festival, the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved, and the world premiere of Between the World and Me. The Apollo is a performing arts presenting organization that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and music works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens; global festivals including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival and Breakin’ Convention, international and U.S.-based artist presentations focused on a specific theme; and special projects, multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, H.E.R., Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.
The Apollo’s 2019-2020 season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Citi, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust.
Public support for the Apollo Theater is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.