Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Digital Streaming Projection Problematic as “Irishman” Premiere at One Theater Scuttled, Apple TV SAG Screening Thwarted Twice


Digital projection is still not completely groovy especially when it comes to screening films or TV shows for large audiences.

I’ve heard two accounts of the disastrous premier showing of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” at the Landmark 57 Theater on Friday morning. The 11:15 show was supposed to be the first screening in New York, and it was sold out. But the whole thing went sideways, fast. The show was cancelled, and patrons were given passes to return next week.

One patron, who brought two friends, wrote: “After making reservations a month ahead of time to get good seats in the Fancy Landmark theatre.
Got there on time seeing an 11 15 am show yesterday.
Theatre was packed all set to see it. When a usherette
or whatever came down to make an announcement that they will not be able to show it
because part of it was missing,
You think it was the end of the world. People screaming that they came in from Jersey
to see this, people threatened to call Scorsese, 1 person called CBS thinking it is right
down the block but they said they weren’t interested. I guy. a lawyer is going to bring a class action
suit against the theatre. It went on and on.
Well I’m going to see it Wednesday I hope. They gave us passes.
I Let you know if they found the film.”

There was a problem with the second show as well, also cancelled. But things were straightened out after that.

Ah well. On Twitter, the account @AsALSeesIt wrote:

“#The Irishman #Theater owners: ‘The Irishman’ ‘deserved better’ release

Did anyone mention that the Landmark Theatre skunked it’s movie goers on Friday’s opening of The Irishman. They cancelled the shows due to technical difficulties. Now that’s news. Not covered!”
Meanwhile, SAG screened AppleTV’s “Dickinson” for its members at the Robin Williams Theater on Friday. “The place was packed, everyone was excited,” a viewer wrote me. “But they started and had to stop. They couldn’t connect to the server. They did it again, same thing. People were moaning, this is Apple! What’s going on?” Eventually, a digital handshake went through, “Dickinson”– which has received good notices– was presented without interruption.
Was film so much better? Yes. It was rare (and still is) that film unspooled or broke. Clever projectionists would break out tape, fix the break, and get on with the show. I was at a film festival where a sophisticated projector literally unspooled the film and it had to be rewound by hand. But these were freak things. Everyone learns from the mistakes.
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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