Broadway theatre to turn into cinema for Scorsese’s The Irishman

By Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Broadway will turn back the clock next month when it converts one of its august theatres into a cinema and starts screenings of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

Netflix is going to put up a screen in the Belasco Theatre and show the film on the Broadway model of eight performances a week – Tuesday through until Sunday evenings, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday from November 1 to December 1.

The Belasco has been empty since the play Network ended its run in June.

Its next tenant will be Girl From The North Country in March.

Broadway producers have been creative lately about using the theatre spaces when vacant, including programming concerts, magic shows and improv performances.

While unprecedented these days, turning the 1,000-seat Belasco into a cinema is an echo from the past.

Almost every Broadway theatre that is still standing was converted to showing films, recording radio broadcasts or being used as a TV recording studio at some point in Times Square’s seedier days, said Tim Dolan, a Broadway historian who is owner of the Broadway Up Close Walking Tours.

Mobster film The Irishman stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

It represents a big risk for Netflix, which put up 159 million dollars (£129 million) to make The Irishman after other studios passed.