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Tribeca Film Fest opening with 'The Apollo,' about legendary Harlem theater

The Tribeca Film Festival will open its 18th

The Tribeca Film Festival will open its 18th edition with the world premiere of the HBO Documentary Film "The Apollo".  Credit: HBO

A new film about Harlem’s Apollo Theater will hold its world premiere at the historic venue as part of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

"The Apollo,” an HBO documentary directed by Roger Ross Williams, is the opening-night selection of the 18th annual festival, which runs Apr. 24 through May 5.

Williams’ film chronicles the Apollo’s 85-year history as a nexus of African-American culture — a launchpad for Ella Fitzgerald, a favorite tour stop for James Brown and home to a legendarily tough Amateur Night where crowds have booed Lauryn Hill, Dave Chappelle and others. Although the Apollo struggled financially in the 1990s, it has experienced a renaissance in recent years and is currently planning to expand for the first time since 1934, adding two new event spaces. Williams’ film includes the venue’s recent stage-production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed book “Between the World and Me."

"The Apollo" will hold additional screenings during the run of the Tribeca Film Festival. Passes and ticket packages go on sale Feb. 19. The festival will announce its feature-film lineup Mar. 5. For more information go to


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