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Broadway theater to screen 'The Irishman'

Robert De Niro, left, and Joe Pesci star

Robert De Niro, left, and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman." Photo Credit: NETFLIX

Broadway will be turning back the clock next month when it converts one of its august venues into a movie theater and starts screenings of Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman."

Netflix is going to put up a screen in the Belasco Theatre and show the movie on the Broadway model of eight performances a week — Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 1 through Dec 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," the musical featuring the songs of Bob Dylan, in March. Broadway producers lately have been creative about using the theater spaces when vacant, including programing concerts, magic shows and improv performances.

While unprecedented these days, turning the 1,000-seat Belasco into a movie house is an echo from the past. Almost every Broadway theater that is still standing was converted to showing movies, recording radio broadcasts, or being used as a TV recording studio at some point in Times Square's seedier days, says Tim Dolan, a Broadway historian who is owner of the Broadway Up Close Walking Tours Inc.

Many of the scenes for the mobster flick "The Irishman," starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Ray Romano, were filmed on Long Island. Locations include Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley, the Mineola restaurant Biscuits & Barbeque, the former Pathmark building at 1754 Grand Ave. in Baldwin, and the Rodeway Inn in Huntington Station.

The movie represents a big risk for Netflix, which ponied up $159 million to make it after other studios passed.

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