Along with the co-founders of the Tribeca Film Festival, Angela Bassett was ecstatic to be honoring the Apollo Theater on this year’s opening night.
“The Apollo is an iconic landmark of New York, of Harlem certainly,” Bassett told Page Six on Wednesday night.
“When my children were young I had to bring them to New York and had to bring them to The Apollo … even if there was no one performing that day, but to see the building,” Bassett added.
The actress, 60, has an extra connection to the theater as she played Tina Turner — who donned the Apollo stage numerous times — in 1993’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
The HBO documentary aptly titled “The Apollo,” has been on the Tribeca radar for several years, festival co-founder Paula Weinstein told us.
“We’re celebrating our city, it couldn’t be more extraordinary,” she said adding that viewers who may not be familiar with the legendary theater are “going to understand the history [and] how talent was nurtured here.
The red carpet ahead of the screening alone was leaving Weinstein happy with their choice to start the festival uptown.
“I’m standing next to Smokey Robinson, what can I tell you? I’m completely starstruck!” she said.
Besides Robinson, she said she’s also seen The Temptations and Little Richard take the Apollo stage.
Her fellow co-founder Jane Rosenthal reiterated the sentiment.
“The amount of musical talent that has come through here is extraordinary,” she said noting that many musicians have started at the Apollo on amateur night and “went on to be superstars.”
Robert DeNiro was also at the premiere.
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