Terming the order on capping movie tickets at Rs 200 in theatres across the state as retrograde and irrational, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) on Thursday urged the Karnataka government to withdraw its directive.
“We urge the Karnataka government to withdraw its notification on capping movie tickets in theatres and multiplexes across the state, as it is not investor friendly and against the interests of the film industry,” said MAI President Deepak Asher in a statement here.
According to the notification, the maximum ticket price for Kannada films is Rs 203, including Rs 3 service tax and zero entertainment tax, while it is Rs 264 for non-Kannada films, with Rs 60 as entertainment tax and Rs 4 service tax.
“The unfair move will stop the growth of multiplexes in the southern state, which has been a favourite investment destination for our members as the state government had been proactive to the film industry,” asserted Asher.
Kannada associations, including the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) are against withdrawing the order.
“We urged the state government to cap the movie ticket price at Rs 200, including taxes but the department fixed it at the same price excluding taxes,” said KFCC President Sa Ra Govindu.
“When multiplexes in the neighbourig states like Tamil Nadu are charging movie buffs only Rs 150 even in multiplexes, how can Rs 200 not be viable for them in our state,” reiterated Govindu.
Noting that the right to charge higher fares for peak shows helped multiplexes to lower them for non-peak shows, Asher said the flexibility to price tickets high or low would serve all movie goers as per their paying capacity.
Multiplexes in Bengaluru, however, have reduced the ticket price and were charging less than Rs 264 for morning and noon shows on Thursday.
“I paid Rs 250 to watch the Telugu film ‘Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion’ at Fun Cinemas in the city centre. I welcome capping movie ticket price at Rs 264,” college student Abhigna Reddy told IANS here.