“The Irishman” — not-quite-live on Broadway!
Netflix announced Monday that Martin Scorsese’s newest film will, in an unusual move, enjoy a monthlong run at the Belasco Theatre on West 44th St. The 112-year-old venue has never before served as a movie house.
The sprawling drama, which premiered in September at the New York Film Festival, is a major Oscars favorite, but in order to compete, a film must have a theatrical run. For the streaming giant’s 2018 art-house hit, “Roma,” AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark all refused to put it up in their venues for less than the industry-standard three months. Netflix prefers three weeks. So, it went to smaller theaters, such as Landmark at 57 West and the IFC Center.
This time, Netflix has turned the slight into a stunt.
The aim would seem to make “The Irishman” into a traditional Broadway experience, just without confetti canons or De Niro crooning “Memory.” The film will play eight times a week — it’s dark on Mondays — presumably with ushers and the option to bring alcoholic drinks to your seat. Audiences will line up outside, under the highly visible marquee, until the theater opens.
The old-school mobster movie, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, is oddly fitting for Broadway. While it’s the longest major studio release of the decade at 3 hours, 29 minutes, “The Irishman” is one minute shorter than the longest show of the Broadway season, “The Lehman Trilogy.” (Another play, “The Inheritance” runs in two separately ticketed parts, each under 3 1/2 hours.)
And at $15, it’s the cheapest ticket on the Great White Way.
“We’ve lost so many wonderful theaters in New York City in recent years, including single house theaters like the Ziegfeld and the Paris,” said Scorsese in a statement. “The opportunity to re-create that singular experience at the historic Belasco Theatre is incredibly exciting.”
“The Irishman” will play at the Belasco Theatre Nov. 1 to Dec. 1. Tickets go on sale next week.