Lee Daniels to Direct ‘The Apollo Theater Film Project’ Documentary

     January 28, 2016


Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious, Empire) will direct the documentary feature film The Apollo Theater Film Project, the authorized history of New York’s famed Apollo Theater. This project marks Daniels’ first foray into documentary territory, and he needs the help of anyone and everyone who has visited the highly influential venue over its more-than-80-year history and happens to have film footage, home movies, photographs or memorabilia. If you have such historically precious items that you’d like to be included in the picture, be sure to visit the documentary’s website to find out how you can contribute.

The film will tell the story of Harlem’s Apollo Theater, one of the most famous theaters in the world, and one that’s been a driving force in shaping America’s music and cultural landscape. The theater has had an enormous influence on the local Harlem community over the years, but it’s likely most well known for the legendary musicians who performed there, artists like Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole, Gladys Knight, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Billie Holiday. It’s quite the ambitious project to tackle all the decades worth of music, political climate, and socioeconomic issues that surround the Apollo, but that’s where fans can help through crowd-sourcing.

Watch the appeal from Daniels and Apollo Theater President and CEO Jonelle Procope for any fan footage and memorabilia related to the landmark theater:

If you or someone you know has visual or audio visual material documenting the APOLLO THEATER or the neighborhood of HARLEM, we want to hear from you! We are looking for film footage, photographs and audio recordings to help tell this remarkable story.


Send us a note and we will reach out!

apollo-theater-documentary Here’s a follow-up quotes about the project from Daniels and Procope, via press release:

“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.  We have established a website for anyone who wants to submit. We will, of course, respect everybody’s ownership of their property.”

Daniels elaborated further by sharing his own thoughts and feelings about getting involved with the project:

“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.”


Image via Fox Broadcasting

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