KUALA LUMPUR — “To be, or not to be … screened”, was probably on the minds of Rajnikanth fans nationwide yesterday as confusion arose over the sale of tickets to the South India superstar’s latest flick, Kabali.
Hours before the late night premier for invited guests came on the big screen yesterday, cinema ticket counters were besieged by fans clamouring to make their bookings.
But much to their surprise, those manning the counters here, in Petaling Jaya, Ipoh and Penang informed fans that no tickets were on sale in the morning.
Instead, they were told to return in the afternoon, which they did.
At the Lotus Five Star PJ State cinema later, anxious fans were seen waiting for the ticket counters to open. Expecting a long wait, some had even brought packed food and drinks.
A thunderstorm that hit the area seemed to have no effect on the enthusiasm of the 300-odd Rajnikanth fans.
While various reasons for the foul-up of ticket sales were shared on social media, no official statement was issued by the managements of the cinemas concerned.
“I wanted to be among the first to watch it as I don’t want tor read reviews before viewing it,” said 32-year-old businessman K. Mohan.
Another Rajnikanth fan, P. Asha, 26, said she applied for half-day leave to get tickets for the first show. To her surpise, her boss also turned up to join the queue.
Audit clerk Francis Xavier said he took two days’ leave to get tickets.
“It is okay to be eating light today, as long as I get to watch ‘thalaivar’ (a nickname given to the actor, which means leader) in his first show,” Xavier said.
“I usually watch the first show, and bring my family to watch it again the next day,” he added.
Superstar Rajinikanth Malaysia Fan Club president Barani, 35, said he was not surprised by the huge crowds turning up to get tickets, given the actor’s popularity.
In IPOH, numerous fans took the day off to buy tickets to watch the movie.
Rajasegaran Muniandy, 45, who has been a fan of the actor since he was 10, said he had applied for leave to watch the movie.
“I never missed any of his movies. Watching thalaivar’s movie on the first day of screening is a must.
University student Ganesha Tharsanamoorthi, 23, said he was in the long queue for more than two hours.
“I came at noon but the management said they had not started selling tickets yet.
“I don’t want to miss the first show of Rajinikanth’s movie. So, I decided to wait at the counter until they started selling the tickets,” he said.
“We heard tickets would be sold a day before the show. But when we reached the theatres, the management said they will only start selling tickets once they receive the movie reel.
“However, we got lucky when we saw one of our friends working at the ticket counter. We gave him the money and he will buy the tickets for us once they are open for sale,” he said.
In GEORGE TOWN, fans block-booked tickets at four cineplexes for yesterday’s midnight preview.
A spokesman for Lotus Five Star Cinema said fans have booked about 1,000 tickets for the midnight premier screening at the Prangin Mall cinema.
Theatre manager P. Narain said phones were ringing off the hook, and customers had started gathering since noon.