“Customers want high quality at low prices and they want it now” Bombay HC on Friday said that if private vendors are permitted to peddle food inside at enormous prices then theatergoers should also be permitted to carry food articles and water bottles inside the multiplexes.
In a PIL filed by Jainendra Baxi, the petition culminate the peculiarity that food articles continue to be sold inside multiplexes at high prices despite the restriction imposed under Section 121 of the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1996 and at the same time it relates to the infringement of Right to Life of Medically ill-protected persons and senior citizens, who are not permitted to bring their own food inside the multiplexes.
In the guidelines proposed by the Petitioner’s advocate Aditya Pratap, urging the government to annul the license of cinemas in case the owners do not allow outside food, the Government Pleader Poornima Khantaria said that FICCI Multiplex Association of India will be coming with a policy soon.
In a tussle between the Theatergoers and Multiplex, the former sense that it is time that the price of food articles at multiplexes should be checked while the latter says that reducing the prices of food articles would lead to great amount of loss, health and hygiene issues. Owners of multiplex says that the interval is designed to favor the F&B business since only 25% of it comes from the sale of movie tickets and rest from the F&B sales.
Yogesh Raizada, corporate head, Wave Cinemas, tells us, “We don’t charge the public for the food but also for the services that comes with it and if the cinemas start permitting outside food it would be great loss for the cinema halls.” While CMO of the Carnival Cinema, Dina Mukherjee adds that it may lead to increase in rate of tickets and other activities inside the cinema.
A normal packet of popcorn that costs Rs.55 in a normal retailer shop costs Rs.180 approx in a multiplex. Who is to be blamed? Is it the private owners who run their shops in multiplexes or the customers, who are not allowed to bring food articles inside the cinema? The answer lies within the question and to the FICCI Multiplex Association of India who will be coming up with a new policy promptly respecting order of the Bombay High Court.
Report by- Vedant Agrawal, Student Reporter, INBA