The Empire State Building celebrated the premiere of the new “The Color Purple” film with a special lighting ceremony and a photo opportunity at the Observatory Experience. The film’s director Blitz Bazawule; stars Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks and Fantasia Barrino; as well as the star of the original film and producer of the 2023 adaptation, Oprah Winfrey, flipped the ceremonial switch to light the building purple in celebration of the film’s release in theaters on Dec. 25.
The filmmakers and cast participated in a special lighting ceremony and flipped the switch to illuminate the Empire State Building’s iconic tower lights in a stunning shade of purple. Before the special moment, the guests of honor said a few words about what the movie means to them.
- Oprah Winfrey, Filmmaker, Producer, Actor, Author, and Media Icon: “It is celebratory, it’s about hope, it’s about rejoicing, it's about empowerment, it’s about joy and we are excited that the world gets to see it and experience it on Christmas Day.”
- Blitz Bazawule, Filmmaker, Author, Multimedia Artist, Singer-Songwriter and Record Producer: “It means gratitude. Gratitude. I’m deeply grateful to be here with you and my sisters. This film is everything and I’m thankful.”
- Fantasia Barrino, Singer, Actor making her feature film debut: “It means a lot to me to represent all of the young ladies who look like me and feel like they could not do what they want to do because of their looks or because of things that they went through so I’m standing in the gap for them.”
- Danielle Brooks, Actor, Philanthropist: “This is such a full circle moment. I came here when I was 15 years old. I came here, that was one of the stops, we came to see ‘The Color Purple’ and we came to the Empire State Building, me and my father. So here we are however many years later getting to have this moment with these beautiful people, my cast, my director and of course the brilliant Ms. Oprah Winfrey, I’m very glad to be here.”
- Taraji P. Henson, Actor, Entrepreneur: “’The Color Purple’ means so much to me. Most importantly it’s joy. It’s joy, it’s hope and the most precious thing to me is sisterhood.”
Flip the Switch
The filmmakers and cast flipped the iconic light switch to illuminate the city in a stunning shade of purple. The Empire State Building tower lights shined in purple Dec. 12 from sunset until 2 a.m. More information about the Empire State Building’s tower lights can be found online, or text CONNECT to 274-16 for real time updates.
On Top of the World
After the ceremony, the group took a tour of the Empire State Building Observatory Experience – that was recently named the #1 attraction in the U.S. in Tripadvisor's 2023 Travelers’ Choice “Best of the Best” for the second consecutive year – and posed for photos on the building’s 86th Floor and 102nd Floor Observatories.
‘The Color Purple,’ Reimagined
Based on a book by the same name, “The Color Purple” 2023 celebrates the power and beauty of healing through sisterhood. The new film adaptation – based on the Broadway musical with elements from the book and original film – unites a group of musical powerhouses to tell a classic story of trauma and triumph. Watch “The Color Purple” in theaters this Christmas Day.