Scorsese's history with the Castro Theatre goes back to 1971, when he saw a screening of Abel Gance's 1927 epic Napoleon.
"[The Castro Theatre] has always been a place that’s very special for cinema. It still has great projection and a wonderful audience capacity,” Scorsese said during our interview before the screening.
His new film boasts an all-star cast featuring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, chronicling the true story of hit man Frank Sheeran (De Niro), who got in close with Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), leader of the Teamsters Union.
While Scorsese has worked with both Pesci and DeNiro throughout his directing career, it was his first time casting Pacino in any of his films.
According to Bill Proctor, director of communications for SFFILM, last night’s sold out show was the organization’s fastest selling event ever — general admission tickets sold out in about 15 minutes.
“That’s remarkably fast for an SFFILM event, and anecdotally the fastest in living memory of the people currently working here," said Proctor.
"The Irishman", produced by Netflix, premiered on November 1 at the 1,015-seat Belasco Theater, a Broadway theater in Manhattan, and the Grauman’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
It will be released globally on Netflix on Wednesday, November 27, but before its Netflix release, it will run at select theaters around the United States starting on November 8.
Castro Theatre film booker Keith Arnold said it's extremely rare for the theatre to show one film for an entire week, uninterrupted.
“When the opportunity to book Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' came our way, we were thrilled to be one of the few theaters in the country to showcase the film on the big screen," he said. "In our case, a really big screen, 25 feet tall, 45 feet wide."
Before the lights went down for the screening, Scorsese addressed the crowd. Here's video of his introduction to "The Irishman."
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