All luxury hotels in Bengaluru that were to screen Kabali have withdrawn their decision owing to pressure from the Karnataka film industry and multiplexes, sources said.
A source at Rices Obliquity, a firm which was handling the screening of the Rajinikanth starrer, said that the screenings had been cancelled.
Luxury hotels JW Marriot, The Lalit Ashok, Royal Orchid and Crowne Plaza were to screen Kabali on July 22, 23 and 24, with four shows each day. The tickets were being sold on Book My Show for Rs 1,300 and Rs 1,400.
The decision came on Wednesday evening. Even until afternoon, the hotels had maintained that they would go ahead with the screenings. A representative of Rices Obliquity told The News Minute that the decision was taken out of respect for the members of the film industry. "There was a lot of pressure from the KFCC and KSFEA, the distributor's decision to withdraw.” Book My Show would money for the tickets within about five days.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and the Karnataka State Film Exhibitor’s Association had objected to luxury hotels in Bengaluru turning temporary theatres, to screen Kabali over three days. Allowing hotels to screen films would be doing an injustice to theatres and multiplexes, they said.
“We have so many theatres and multiplexes which have been around for so long. Why should someone screen the movie for a small audience?" asked Sa Ra Govindaraju, president of KFCC.
Honnappa says that this instance would set a bad precedent. “So far there is no legal provision allowing any space with a digital copy to screen the movie for a large audience and make money off it. Even apartment complexes will buy a copy because they can afford it and screen it. How is the government going to regulate it?” Honnappa asked.
National Award-winning film-maker B Suresha says that there is nothing wrong with someone paying so much money to watch a movie in a five-star hotel. “However, one hitch that might arise later is that there won't be any control over what these exhibitors are screening. There might be issues later, as some places might end up screening uncensored version of films. Then who is to be held responsible?” he asked.