Angry patrons refuse to leave Rex cinema

A large group of foreign workers refused to leave the compounds of Rex Cinema after the cinema cancelled a show.

SINGAPORE - A crowd of more than 100 people, mostly foreign workers, refused to leave Rex Cinemas in Mackenzie Road last night, after the theatre abruptly cancelled the premiere of a movie.

The police were called in after some people in the crowd apparently began shouting at cinema staff when the screening of the Tamil movie Veeram, starring popular actor Ajith Kumar, was abruptly called off. They had queued for more than six hours for tickets, they said.

Three police cars and about 10 police officers were at the scene but no arrests were made.

Two patrons, Mr Suresh Veerasamy, 29, and Mr Tamal Shanmugam, 28, both construction workers, said they were at the cinema at 6am yesterday to buy tickets for the 9pm show. They took the day off from work to catch the movie, and said they had each lost $70 in wages for the day. "I am very disappointed. I don't want a refund. I just want to watch the movie," said Mr Shanmugam.

A cinema spokesman, Mr Santhrasagaran, who goes by one name, said the screening was cancelled as the cinema could not download the film in time.

After more than two hours, the cinema eventually resolved the problem by allowing patrons to exchange their tickets for one of three screenings today.

twong@sph.com.sg