PALEMBANG, Sumatra – A top official in Sumatra region has shut down the Velvet Class venue of Indonesian cinema chain CGV on a suspicion that the ultra-comfortable seats promote sexual misconduct.
Instead of regular seats, CGV Velvet Class cinemas feature leather beds complete with pillows and blankets, for an extremely movie experience.
They have been operating in Jakarta and around Indonesia for years now, with no problems, but recently a deputy mayor South Sumatran capital of Palembang decided that switching regular movie theater seats with comfortable beds was a very a bad idea as it promotes sin.
Deputy mayor Fitrianti Agustinda visited the CGV Velvet Class cinema in the city of Palembang last week, after reportedly receiving complaints about it from the public.
He argued that they (the beds) could promote adultery and sexual misconduct, the Cocounut.Jakarata.co reported.
“I want an explanation,” Fitrianti told journalists present at the cinema. “If it’s like this, those that don’t want to watch the movie can still use it for something else.”
The deputy mayor ordered that the Velvet Class theater be shut down until they changed the sin-promoting beds with regular seats, and warned management that if they disobeyed her order and continue to operate this way, their business license would be revoked.
The CGV manager tried his best to convince the deputy mayor that there was no reason for concern, telling her that Velvet Class cinemas were not only meant for couples, but also families who wanted to watch a movie together in a more comfortable setting.
According to the manager, they had already obtained permission from the government for the theater and also had CCTV cameras to monitor the activities of the studio audience. He said the Velvet Class theaters operated in other cities without any problems.
However, he agreed to shut down the place and make the necessary changes.
Also this week, a woman was forced to endure 26 agonizing lashes of the cane for having sex outside of marriage in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
The public flogging was carried out in Aceh which is the only province in Indonesia that is allowed to implement Islamic Sharia law.
Under the law, men and women, who are not spouses, are not allowed to get too close due to the ‘khalwat’ offence – and punishment is by public caning.
Gay sex, gambling and drinking alcohol are all punishable by caning in Aceh which began implementing Sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001.