The multiplexes in Mumbai have started screening Shah Rukh Khan's My Name Is Khan here on Friday after theatre owners shied away from exhibiting the film following violence by the Shiv Sena as others are expected to do the same later in the day.
Fun Cinemas began their first show at 12 noon, while the multiplex Fame is expected to start at 2.30 p.m. There was extra security around the multiplexes in this financial and entertainment capital of India.
Actress Pooja Bedi who came to Fun Cinemas with her father Kabir Bedi couldn't get tickets. All they saw was a House Full sign.
"I am certainly disappointed for not getting tickets but very happy that the film is going House Full. Police are doing a fabulous job. People need not fear at all. I walked down the street, there were no one with lathi (stick) and stones," Bedi told reporters outside the Fun Cinemas multiplex in Andheri West.
The movie was originally scheduled to hit 63 cinema halls in Mumbai. It ran into trouble as Shiv Sainiks started going on the rampage Tuesday, over Shah Rukh Khan's statement that Pakistani cricketers should have been included in this year's edition of the Indian Premier League.
Early afternoon, other multiplexes and major cinema owners were still closeted in a meeting with the movie's distributors and producers to sort out the issue of adequate security if they screen the film. Their decision is expected to come later this afternoon.
The no-show in the morning came despite assurance of adequate security for the movie screening by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Home Minister R.R. Patil, Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe and Police Commissioner D. Shivanandhan.
Halls that did not screen the film include the G-7 cinemas, Apsara, Maratha Mandir, Dadar Plaza, Broadway and other single-screen halls.
In a related development, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane demanded that the registration of Shiv Sena as a political party be cancelled.