Last night, the Woodstock Film Festival hosted a free community screening of The Apollo, a new documentary from Academy-award winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams about the legendary Harlem theater at Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, co-hosted by Radio Kingston and the Bardavon 1869 Opera House.
Presenting the film to a packed house were Lisa Cortes, the film’s producer, and Apollo historian and tour director Billy Mitchell. During the intimate Q&A session that followed, Mitchell delighted audience members with several stories from his colorful decades-long career, which he began as a 15 year old errand boy for the theater.
During his tenure at the Apollo, Mitchell had the privilege of witnessing the Jackson Five, including a 9 year old Michael Jackson, perform at The Apollo’s weekly amateur night, having soul legend James Brown pore over his report cards to make sure he was still attending school, and give a personal tour to first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters.
The Apollo will be on HBO November 8th.