Some of us stars to be blamed for rising ticket prices: Shah Rukh Khan

Rahul Vaishnavi

New Delhi, Oct 24 (PTI) Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday said the onus of the rising prices of movie tickets in the country must be borne by film stars like him.

Despite the fact that movie watching had become a costly affair today, the actor said no other platform can offer 'the real romance' of cinema to the audience.

'This whole onus upon keeping ticket pricing which is rising so fast, obviously some of us stars are also to be blamed, because we keep our ticket prices high when we release them on weekends. Movies have become expensive.

'There are all kinds of platforms that give you a different choice too. But movie theatre is the real romance. They are places where the community gets together. I always say 'We can't laugh alone, we can cry alone. And as long as that is true about humanity, cinema theatres will prosper,' Shah Rukh said, adding the country needs more theatres.

The 54-year-old actor was in the capital to bring down the curtains on the city's iconic cinema complex, PVR Anupam, India' first multiplex that closed for renovation on Thursday.

Shah Rukh, who was fashionably late, apologised but blamed the delay on traffic.

'Sorry for being late. I was not late, I was stuck in traffic. So I'm not going to complain about it. It's our city. Jaisi bhi hai, apni (city) hai (However, it may be, it is our city after all). So nationalistic,' he quipped.

Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd, recalled the theatre as his 'big break'.

'It will always hold a special place in my heart. I even bought the property in the middle.It was a heartbreaking moment when I had to sell it. That's where the journey started,' Ajay Bijli said.

PVR Anupam opened with the screening of Shah Rukh's 1997 film 'Yes Boss', which went on to become a blockbuster.

The film, also starring Juhi Chawla, changed the way for the cinema hall which was in its nascent stage.

Ajay Bijli said it was a joint venture with an Australian company called the Village Roadshow and the company told him they could only play English movies, no Hindi.

'I said okay fine since this is the first year. But all of us a sudden 'Yes Boss' got announced. I couldn't resist it. So how do I slip this movie in? Luckily the name was in English. I played it.

'All of us sudden I get an email from the Chairman who sent also mailed to Singapore, Malaysia and others asking what's this movie that's getting a 100 per cent occupancy. All others like 'Jerry Maguire' were only getting 10-20 per cent. He asked why others weren't playing 'Yes Boss'. I thought if I ever revamp this theatre, I'll request Shah Rukh to come,' he said.

'We hope come April 1st, we hope Shah Rukh is here to reopen the theatre in a revamped avatar,' Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd added.

After CEO PVR-Cinemas Gautam Datta said it was only befitting to have the actor bring down the curtains as it was his film with which the memorable journey began, Shah Rukh quipped they got him as he was the only hero who wasn't shooting.

'At this time in Mumbai, which hero is not shooting (for a film)? And they got to know I'm not shooting for anything. (They thought) 'he has free time, call him, he can come. Aamir, Salman are busy, Hrithik is busier at this time. He's coming to Delhi for his mother-in-law's 75th birthday anyway, he won't be able to say no',' the actor joked. PTI RDS BK RHL