A Bengaluru multiplex failing to switch on its air-conditioning system during the screening of a Kannada movie has sparked outrage among cinema goers.
The incident happened on Friday night at the Regalia PVR at Elements Mall in Bengaluru's Nagawara area. According to reports, the AC at the screen showing Puneeth Rajkumar's latest release Rajakumaara was not switched on.
Thirty minutes into the film, the audience reportedly demanded that the AC be switched on. In response, the multiplex staff allegedly told them that they do not normally switch the AC on, when a Kannada film is screened.
A huge ruckus followed, when the audience demanded to know if the multiplex staff would have behaved this way if a non-Kannada movie was being screened.
On social media too, Karnataka-natives registered their protest against the multiplex's action. The Kannada film industry has consistently voiced its protest against PVR Cinemas for allegedly giving preference to films in other languages, and even refusing prime time slots to regional films. The state government's recent budget had also addressed this issue.
Social media users have marked their protest against the multiplex's action by calling for a mass boycott of the theatre. However, when The News Minute reached out to the staff, they maintained that the AC was not switched off deliberately. The staff, who requested anonymity, refuted allegations that the theatre staff had said that the AC will remain switched off during all Kannada movie screenings.
"It was a 10pm show and the AC at that particular screen wasn't working because of some technical problem. We used to keep it on during all the screenings. Even now, it is working, and the issue has been resolved," the staff said.
Kannada Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) President Sa Ra Govindu told TNM that as soon as the matter was brought to his notice, he enquired with PVR officials.
"I spoke to the manager, who told me that it was not a deliberate action and that the AC was not working due to some technical problems. He assured me that the staff hadn't done it on purpose and I warned him that such an incident shouldn't happen again," Sa Ra Govindu said.
He added that since the issue stands resolved for now, KFCC has not filed a police complaint against the multiplex.