The management of the Lido and Scala theatres has decided not to show the movie <i>The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1</i> for fear of a political backlash.
The management of Apex group, which operates the theatres, told the Bangkok Post on Wednesday it had received a phone call asking for 200 tickets for the film's premiere on Thursday noon at Scala theatre, and that they be sent by mail.
It found out later the tickets were being given out for free from a Facebook page.
The League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy on Sunday posted on its Facebook that it would give 160 tickets for the movie premiere at Scala under its "Raise Three Fingers, Bring Popcorn and Go to the Theatre" campaign.
It also asked its friends to comment on "How does the Capitol resemble Bangkok?" - the winning commentators would get 80 tickets for free. As of 6.46pm on Wednesday there were 241 comments to the post.
Apex said authorities had met with management to talk about the film but said its decision to drop the show had nothing to do with what happened to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Khon Kaen on Wednesday.
"We feel our theatres are being used for political movements," he said.
Apex estimated the decision would cost it 1 million baht in lost revenue as the film is among the biggest this year.
Instead, it will show Magic in the Moonlight, a new film directed by Woody Allen.
A preview of the dropped film shows the three-finger salute is shown only once.
Apex saw Siam, one of its theatres, burned down during the 2010 red-shirt unrest in Bangkok.
The latest Hunger Games movie — part of a series set in a dystopian country made up of a wealthy capital and several other districts with different levels of poverty — opens in Thailand tomorrow. A group of demonstrators held signs reading “District Thai” at the film’s London premiere last week.
Theatres under the Major and SF groups will show the film as scheduled on Thursday.