‘Irishman’ expands to Cinema & Drafthouse with early run

By Tamara Dunn - [email protected]
This image released by Netflix shows Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from ‘The Irishman.’ The Cinema & Drafthouse in West Hazleton will screen a five-day run on Nov. 22, and the Dietrich Theater in Tunhannock will have a two-week run Nov. 27-Dec. 12. Niko Tavernise | Netflix via AP This image released by Netflix shows Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from ‘The Irishman.’ The Cinema & Drafthouse in West Hazleton will screen a five-day run on Nov. 22, and the Dietrich Theater in Tunhannock will have a two-week run Nov. 27-Dec. 12. - Niko Tavernise | Netflix via AP

One area movie house has been added to the number of theaters nationwide that will screen “The Irishman” next month, and another will expand its already scheduled run.

The Cinema & Drafthouse in West Hazleton will screen the Martin Scorsese-directed film Nov. 22-26 for a five-day run ahead of its streaming date of Nov. 27 on Netflix.

Elsewhere, the Dietrich Theater in Tunhannock has added an additional week to its run. According to its website, the run begins Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 12.

Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, the big-screen adaptation of Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses” is an account of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro), a mob enforcer who confessed to killing Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Pesci plays Russell Bufalino, the Kingston mob figure who allegedly gave Sheeran the orders to off Hoffa.

Ronnie Harvey, general theater manager and film booker at the Dietrich Theater, said advanced ticket sales were strong for the first week that the theater decided to add another one.

“We extended the play of ‘The Irishman’ because of how many crazy presales we’ve been getting since it has been announced that we’ve had it,” Harvey said. “We knew ahead of time that it warranted it to keep it an extra week.”

Advance tickets are available on its website, dietrichteater.com, or at the box office. In-theater events for the screenings are planned, but have not been released.

West Hazleton tickets popular

Cinema & Drafthouse is selling advance tickets to the screenings, and showings are already selling out.

Theater owner Sybil Katona was fielding phone calls for 48 hours after making the announcement on Facebook on Wednesday night and posting an update on the theater’s website Thursday morning.

Within the first 30 hours, three screenings were already sold out.

When the Times Leader was the first to reach out to area theaters about “The Irishman” back in August, Katona said she “would LOVE to get my hands on this film!”

This week, her wish came true.

“Netflix changed their stance, so that was they who made the announcement to (theater) owners that they would do very limited runs, and that was the main change,” Katona said.

Netflix offered selected theaters to have the early slot before streaming, Katona said, and she was thankful that the West Hazleton venue was given the week before the Thanksgiving Day holiday block and streaming debut.

Dietrich’s plans

The Dietrich also had the option, but when the theater received multiple requests for advance tickets for Nov. 27 and beyond last week, they decided to keep with the current path.

“We originally had intended to do something a week beforehand, but after deciding to open up tickets, and the likelihood that it wouldn’t happen … we didn’t want to be (bombarded) by all these ticket sales all at once,” Harvey said.

“We decided to just keep it like it is and go for it. And it seems to have worked because we have had very positive responses and tons of messages, tons of calls and tons of presales,” he said.

Solo at Drafthouse

Unlike most of the movies Cinema & Drafthouse run, “The Irishman” will be the only film screening on those five days, and sales will be done exclusively through its website, www.cinemaanddrafthouse.com.

“Nothing else is running that day, so this will be our sole movie,” Katona said.

Tickets for “The Irishman” are $10, higher the cinema’s usual $5 charge. Katona said the reason is that it’s a first-run exclusive, different from the second-run movies it usually books. Plus, the movie’s running time over three hours.

“Through scheduling and things like that, it was like doing two movies,” Katona said, noting that customers don’t mind the increase and that the price is still below the regional average price for a movie ticket. For example, its nearest competitor, Regal Hazleton, sells evening tickets at $11.70.

“It seems it hasn’t done any pause in anyone’s mind,” she said.

The increase also covers the costs of heating, staffing and projection, Katona said.

As part of the exclusive run, Cinema & Drafthouse will offer food and drink specials that match “The Irishman.” Details are being finalized, Katona said, and may change by the day.

This image released by Netflix shows Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from ‘The Irishman.’ The Cinema & Drafthouse in West Hazleton will screen a five-day run on Nov. 22, and the Dietrich Theater in Tunhannock will have a two-week run Nov. 27-Dec. 12.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/web1_irish-4.jpgThis image released by Netflix shows Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from ‘The Irishman.’ The Cinema & Drafthouse in West Hazleton will screen a five-day run on Nov. 22, and the Dietrich Theater in Tunhannock will have a two-week run Nov. 27-Dec. 12. Niko Tavernise | Netflix via AP

By Tamara Dunn

[email protected]