Imagine watching a movie sans the huge tub of popcorn but when the popcorn costs as much and often more than your ticket, something is obviously amiss…
Through his PIL, a Mumbai based film maker Jainendra Baxi challenged the authorities against two basic issues that concern the average movie goer.
He questioned the ‘illegal restrictions on bringing of personal food items by cinema goers into the auditoriums and secondly, ‘illegal hawking by multiplex owners within the auditorium at rates over the maximum retail price’.
The PIL filed at the Bombay High Court claims that there was “no legal or statutory provision that prohibits one from carrying personal food articles or water inside movie theatres”.
Mr Aditya Pratap (Jainendra Baxi’s lawyer) said that while the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1966, prohibit hawking and sale of food inside the auditorium, the rule is also openly flouted and hence the PIL sought directions to the government to formulate guidelines for the same.
According to a report, the Bombay High Court directed the state to frame guidelines for the same. The court also directed the petitioner to give suggestions to the state for allowing home food to be carried inside cinema halls.
Taking cognizance of this issue that all of us are face with, Pune365 spoke to citizens and movies goers to check their pulse on this.
Rekha Malik, Homemaker: The exorbitant prices that a customer pays is more than the cost of a movie ticket. The food inside is far too expensive. There might be some people who are willing to pay in triple digits for a bag of popcorn, but many others are forced to buy at these rates. It’s difficult to manage for 2.5 hours without food, especially when you have children with you. Also, many cannot even have food sold at the multiplexes due to some prevailing medical condition. At least for them the option should be made available to bring in their own food.
Prateek Vaidya, Software Engineer: The solution is in making it optional. The choice should be left to the customers weather they want to buy from the theaters or not. Banning of sales of food in the theatre won’t help as some people might like to buy the stuff made available at the theatres. So, for them, the option should be available. But, allowing outside food inside is certainly a welcome move. Moreover, that may also help increase the footfalls in the theatres, since it would work out cheaper for the customer.
Hanuman Apte , Taxi Driver: We only go to the theatres when I receive a bonus or have saved for it. If at all I can afford to buy a ticket, I have to keep 400-500 rupees extra to be spent on food and water. As and when we go to the theater once in three months, my family would certainly like to have at least the popcorn and a cold drink. For that I need to be prepared. The norm of not allowing home-cooked food restricts us from frequently watching our favourite movie stars on the screen.
Mugdha Rathee, Foreign Language Student: I feel if this happens, most of the multiplexes will then earn their revenue by making the tickets costlier. By selling food items inside, they recover their cost of investment and also earn profits. If people start bringing in their food, their business will see a setback. Then obviously they will try making money in some other way, which is going to affect the consumers.
Pooja Singh, Student: They have struck the right cord as many people will be interested to know why the security people take away our food at the security check. I don’t think that is in any way, a breach. Also, people should be free to make their own choices. When during the intervals you see people having food that smells drool worthy, it is tough to buy a box of nachos. Given the option, people can opt for more healthy and economical ways of enjoying the movie, while munching on their favourite snacks.
#Views reflected in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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