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Lee Daniels to direct documentary on the Apollo Theater, make it weird somehow

Empire creator Lee Daniels has been tapped to make a documentary about the history of Harlem’s storied Apollo Theater, cataloging its contributions to New York culture, its influence on the rise of rap and hip-hop in mainstream America, and also—in keeping with Daniels’ usual M.O.—probably some weird Pepsi stuff or inflammatory comments about Sean Penn.

The Apollo Theater Film Project will be Daniels’ first documentary, which might explain why he’s decided to crowdsource at least part of the research work for the film. Along with theater president Jonelle Procope, the director and producer posted a video appeal today to reach out to anyone with photos, video, or memorabilia from the Apollo’s near-century of operation that they’d be willing to contribute to the project. Meanwhile, anyone with knowledge of the mysterious figure who used to descend from its rafters to tap-dance unfortunate Amateur Night acts off the stage is invited to contact their local police to help end this decades-long, well-syncopated reign of terror.

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