Multiplexes defend selling of eatables halls

Multiplexes defend selling of eatables halls

The multiplexes provide an environment “that is safe” for women and children.

The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has defended selling of eatables inside the cinema halls, saying people visit multiplexes to watch film for “a visual and sensory experience,” not to eat “popcorn and beverages.”

“No guest is forced to make a purchase. It is the guest’s choice to make a purchase,” it also said in a response to an article titled ‘Cinemas must stop fleecing movie-goers,’ published in DH.

The multiplexes provide an environment “that is safe” for women and children.

“Food and beverage is just an additional service, a purchase of which is the guest’s choice,” it said in a statement.

Food at all the multiplexes are available at “several price points” along with several discount schemes.

“It is the customer’s choice to avail or indeed, not avail of these,” the MAI added.

On the issue of security, the MAI, which is the apex body governing the operations of multiplexes in the country, said the multiplex cinemas have arrangements for security.

“Whether or not it is adequate is a point for discussion. The security risks cannot be measured in a civil set-up unlike a superbly functioning apparatus like, say, an airport, which has massive government intervention,” it underlined.

Deeper investments in security at multiplexes will result in cost escalations, which in turn would push up the ticket prices, it said

“This is a classic Catch-22 situation,” it added.

Expressing reservation to the use of phrase ‘unvarnished greed of multiplexes’ in the article, the MAI said these were “strong words” but they did not answer “a fundamental question as to how are multiplexes going to survive given high input costs, rentals, wage hikes, a multiplicity of taxes and low margin on ticket sales?”

It also asked if it was “outrageous then” to look at revenue streams that “a business has to have to survive.”