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Gurgaon’s Ambience Mall ‘cancels screening’ of Padmaavat to keep the show going

Pasting cancellation circulars was a ploy on part of the staff at PVR in Ambience Mall to mislead miscreants. Sadly, many cinema-goers also returned home without enquiring at the ticket booth. Footfall low in all theatres and malls of Gurgaon

gurgaon Updated: Jan 26, 2018 09:52 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
Padmaavat,Padmavati,Ranveer Singh
The circular at the entrance to Ambience Mall read: Dear guests, the screening of the movie Padmaavat has been cancelled. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Many who dared to watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmaavat at the Ambience Mall were welcomed by cancellation circulars of the movie pasted at the front door of the mall on Thursday morning, a day after the city witnessed violence by those protesting against its release. Pasting cancellation circulars, however, were a ploy on part of the staff at PVR to mislead miscreants as they screened the movie as scheduled. Sadly, many cinema-goers returned home after seeing the notice, without enquiring at the ticket booth.

“Dear guests, the screening of the movie Padmaavat has been cancelled”: the circular at the entrance to Ambience Mall read.

Abdul Najeeb, a student of Delhi University said, “I was unaware of the cancellation circular. Fortunately, I hadn’t made any bookings for the show. Being a history student, I take great interest in the Delhi Sultanate period and was looking forward to seeing the movie.”

While the move by Ambience Mall proved to be too smart for their own good, many other multiplexes in the city reported low footfall and the movie being screened to a less than half-full theatre.

Despite being heavily fortified with security officials, several malls, where the movie is being screened, appeared deserted as people chose to stay indoors.

Officials at the PVR cinemas ticketing counter at Mega Mall said that all shows were operating at less than 50% occupancy. At the Metropolitan and City Centre malls, the ticket counters were deserted as was the rest of the establishment.

“These malls are close to my residence, and I often go there for getting my daily essentials. I made a trip to both the malls for purchasing some items and they were both almost empty,” Tina Khanna, a resident of Essel Tower, said.

At the Star Mall in Sector 30, there was a small queue of people lining up to buy tickets, but this was little reason for officials to celebrate who were hoping to rake in big numbers.

Deserted rows also haunted officials at the SRS Cinemas at Omaxe Mall on Sohna Road, where the management said there were fewer people at the theatre on Thursday than Wednesday, when a special show of the film was screened.

There was a silver lining to the situation though. A few Bollywood enthusiasts, who drove down from Jaipur to catch a show in Gurgaon, could get tickets quite easily.

“I am a big Ranveer Singh fan and watch all his movies on the first day of their release. It is unfortunate that move was not screened (in Rajasthan) despite the Supreme Court’s order,” Radhika Agarwal, a resident of Jaipur, said.

Aniket Kapoor, a resident of DLF 5, who is well-versed with the poem Padmavat by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, saw the movie on Wednesday and claimed that it was not historically distorting any facts. “The movie was similar to the renowned Sufi poem. There was no scene depicting a romantic relationship between Alauddin Khilji and Padmavati.”

Vox Pop:

“I drove down from Jaipur to catch a show after the film was not screened in Rajasthan. I hope the movie is released in the state soon as there are many people eager to watch it.”

—Mudit Agarwal, resident, Jaipur

“I want to watch the movie but will see it at a later date after things cool down. I don’t want to unnecessarily get dragged into an undesirable situation.”

—Harshit Kaushik, resident, Sector 15

“I will watch the movie in New Delhi as the city has not witnessed any violence (on account of Padmaavat), so far. I don’t want to take any chances in Gurgaon.”

—Rajat Nema, pvt sector employee

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 23:00 IST