Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" arrives in Long Island theaters Friday, giving local moviegoers a chance to see the acclaimed, three-and-a-half-hour crime drama on the big screen ahead of its Netflix premiere on Nov. 27.
The film, which had been playing at three theaters in Manhattan, opens at Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre and the Malverne Cinema and Arts Center for an open-ended run. The film will also open at the Bellmore Movies on Nov. 15.
"The Irishman," which was shot at several Long Island locations, including Leonard's Palazzo in Great Neck and the Rodeway Inn in Huntington Station, stars Robert De Niro as real-life hit man Frank Sheeran, who claimed to be involved in the 1975 disappearance of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino. It's the first time De Niro and his "Goodfellas" co-star Joe Pesci have re-teamed since 1995's "Casino," and the first time Scorsese has ever worked with Pacino. The film has received rave reviews (read Newsday's 3 1/2-star review here) and is widely considered a leading contender for the Academy Award for best picture.
"It's a full run, it's got a clean screen, it's running every day," said Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre. "We're very enthusiastic about showing a new movie by one of the world's legendary great filmmakers."
"The Irishman" also marks another battle between Netflix, which produced the $159 million film, and the major theater chains. Last year, AMC and Regal refused to show Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," a best-picture nominee, because Netflix wanted a shorter-than-usual window between the theatrical release and the streaming premiere. Much the same thing has happened with "The Irishman," leading Netflix to release the film into smaller, independent theaters such as the Long Island venues.
"Obviously, we wish it wasn't streaming so soon, but that's what the arrangement is," Skolnick said. "We'll see what happens. If it drops off after that, we'll put in a new movie."