Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Shell out a fortune to watch films

Shell out a fortune to watch films
Without Regulation, Multiplexes Are Out Of Budget For Many
— Ameen Khan
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: Entertainment at a high cost can put people off. Rising ticket prices at multiplexes in the city are forcing many to watch films at home.
The average price of Rs 300 in the first week of a film’s release is double the amount charged in Chennai. If the movie turns out to be a blockbuster, the rate further goes up. A gold class ticket at a multiplex, that earlier cost Rs 500, was hiked to Rs 1,000 for Avatar.
Dayanand Mandre, a film distributor, says: “Bangalore rates can go up to Rs 300 and even Rs 1,000 for gold class, while the limit is Rs 150 in Chennai. Multiplex owners say that in Tamil Nadu, there is government restriction that multiplex and single-screen theatres cannot charge more than Rs 150 per ticket on any given day. In Karnataka, the government hasn’t imposed any restriction on the amount charged for movie tickets. In Hyderabad, too, tickets cost much less, on a par with Chennai, as entertainment tax in Andhra Pradesh is fixed.”
Moviegoers complain that the government and exhibitors here are happy hiking the rates at their whim and fancy, robbing them of entertainment. The government, instead of imposing restrictions, is happy with the extra money it gets from entertainment tax, they say.
A group of students said they are forced to buy pirated DVDs at Rs 50 to Rs 80. Komal Gupta, a movie buff, said: “Theatres are fleecing the public. Multiplexes are only for the rich. They charge fancy rates, and middle and lower-middle class people are being kept out.” Iffath Fathima, a student of Florence Public School, agrees: “Our pocket money is limited and the idea of going to a multiplex is out of the question. We cannot afford it, so we generally watch movies at a friend’s place by buying a pirated print.”
Many producers have time and again raised their voice to curb the menace of piracy, but it appears the customers don’t have an option.
Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president Jayamala said the chamber is working towards a government regulation. “In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, some people in politics are from the film industry and know what exactly is to be done. In Karnataka, no one understands the problem,” she added.
Bangalore: Price goes up to as much as Rs 1,000 Chennai: Upper limit of Rs 150 imposed by govt directive Hyderabad: On a par with Chennai because entertainment tax is fixed

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