NEW YORK -- The$7 New York movie ticket has so upset Mayor Edward Koch that he's thinking of leading a boycott of the theaters that recently increased their prices by a buck.
Koch, a self-confessed celluloid "addict" (and a known cheapskate) offered yesterday to lead a week-long consumer boycott of 44 theaters in Manhattan that raised their prices by $1 last month -- but only if a significant number of like-minded New Yorkers join him.
Koch said he would mount the campaign "if I could get a significantly large number of letters from people telling me they would join a movie boycott for a week and only watch home videos."
But Koch said, "I am not going to be the only person not in line."
As an extra incentive, Koch said that people writing to him would receive a list of four home videos personally screened by him "that are as good as anything in the movies today."
One is "Two English Girls" directed by the late Franc ois Truffaut. Koch called the film "absolutely superb."
The objects of Koch's ire are the Cineplex Odeon theaters (28 screens) and the Loews Theaters (16 screens) that late last month increased their ticket prices in time for the holiday spate of new movies.
The move left approximately half of the Manhattan theaters still charging $6.
Koch said he recently had to pay $7 to see "Empire of the Sun" and "Broadcast News."
"And I resent it because whenever I go to the movies I buy the tickets," Koch said.
Koch's offer to lead the boycott was applauded by Joanne Zyontz, speaking for several community groups opposed to the price hike. "You can bet that we'll write letters to the mayor to join his boycott," she said, urging that moviegoers show their irritation by patronizing only those movie theaters that have not upped the price.
A spokesman for Cineplex Odeon refused comment on the mayor's actions. Loews could not be reached.