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190 Motion Picture Theaters in Israel Close; Protest Ticket Taxes

Owners of 190 motion picture theaters throughout Israel today carried out a threat made two weeks ago to close the theatres in protest against ticket taxes. They left Israelis bereft of their most popular form of entertainment only a few days before the start of celebrations of Israel’s tenth anniversary.

The owners asserted that national and local taxes had reached a total of 129 percent of the original ticket price. They charged that the levies had drastically trimmed movie attendance. The Treasury retorted that ticket taxes in Tel Aviv and Haifa were only 54 percent and only 45 percent in the rest of the country.

The owners, announcing the closing down of their theaters after the failure of last minute settlement efforts, said they would keep the theaters closed until there was a “considerable reduction” in taxes.