Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival - Angela Bassett at the premiere of The Apollo at the opening night of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.”
The film chronicles the 85-year history and legacy of the famed New York City landmark, The Apollo Theater. Directed by Academy and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, the documentary showcases archival footage, music, comedy and dance performances plus behind-the-scenes moments with the theater’s staff as well as interviews with artists including Patti LaBelle, Pharrell Williams, Smokey Robinson, and Jamie Foxx. The stage production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” frames the film and the way in which The Apollo explores the current struggle of black lives in America and the role that art plays in that struggle.
Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival - Smokey Robinson at the premiere of The Apollo at the opening night of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.”
During the opening remarks De Niro said, “In these disturbing times, when the administration is promoting divisiveness and racism, we’re making a statement by being here tonight that we reject it,” he said. “No, you don’t! Not in this house, not on this stage!”
Actor Robert De Niro (L) and director/producer Roger Ross Williams attend the screening of "The Apollo" on the opening night of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at The Apollo Theater on April 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
This premiere event marks the first time Tribeca has hosted an opening night at the Apollo, continuing the annual Festival’s expansion from its roots from downtown New York City.
Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival - Dewanda Wise at the premiere of The Apollo at the opening night of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.”
Following the premiere, singer Alice Smith performed two songs including a cover of "I Put A Spell On You" to an enthusiastic audience and the Festival opening continued at Tavern on the Green.