"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," commented Daniels in a press statement.
In the spirit of the theatre's tradition of active audience participation, Daniels and Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of the Apollo Theater, have made an appeal to theatregoers and members of the public for film footage, photographs and other memorabilia that may be included in the film.
"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 (www.apollotheaterdocumentary.com) for anyone who wants to submit," said Procope and Daniels in a joint statement.
Born out of the Harlem Renaissance, the iconic theatre has launched the careers of many musical greats, including James Brown, Nina Simone, Bob Marley and more. The film is being produced by White Horse Pictures and Piper Cub productions. Drawing on the roster of artists who have performed at the Apollo Theater, Universal Music Group will curate the music for the documentary. The project is being co-written by Cassidy Hartmann of White Horse Pictures, Mark Monroe and Shola Lynch.
"We are all honored to be entrusted with this triumphant American story, and so fortunate that Lee Daniels has committed to lead the team. The Apollo has exerted such unprecedented influence and power on American culture, from its beginnings in 1934 to its towering presence in the 21st century. It is a story that will amaze," said White Horse Pictures' Nigel Sinclair. For more information on the Apollo, including its upcoming events schedule for Black History month, visit ApolloTheater.org.