Multiplex fares capped, Kannada films made must

Multiplex fares capped, Kannada films made must

Multiplex fares capped, Kannada films made must

The budget promises ‘achhe din’ for the Kannada film industry as three long-pending demands — capping ticket price at Rs 200 at multiplexes and theatres, compulsorily screening of Kannada and regional language films during prime time and constructing a film city — have been fulfilled.

In the budget, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that besides Kannada, regional language films of Tulu, Konkani, Beary, Kodava and Banjara have to be screened compulsorily during prime time shows at 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm.

Karnataka is now the third state after Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to fix Rs 200 as maximum ticket price at multiplexes. Multiplex ticket prices range between Rs 200 and Rs 1,200. High prices have deterred the common man from watching films at multiplexes. “The move definitely helps ordinary people enjoy the experience of watching films at multiplexes,” chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy Rajendra Singh Babu told DH.

While disposing of a petition between Multiplexes’ Association and Marathi Films Association in Maharastra, the Supreme Court had observed that the State government was the competent authority to control the rate of admissions in multiplexes.

The  Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) had submitted documents of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala to the government regarding how those governments had fixed prices in multiplexes. “The government studied the Supreme Court order and the documents, used its discretionary power and fixed Rs 200 as maximum price in Karnataka. However, the multiplexes can challenge the budget announcement in the court,” D R Jayaraj, vice-president, KFCC, said.

DH contacted PVR Cinemas and INOX, but there was no response from them.
According to KFCC president Sa Ra Govindu, mandatory screening of Kannada and regional language films would help Kannada films. “Multiplexes screen other language films during prime time while Kannada films are screened either during mornings or late evenings when the footfall is low,” he said.

There are 90 multiplex screens and 650 single screen theatres across the state. Exhibitors spend huge sums and screen out-of-state films in Karnataka. About 275 outside state movies are screened in multiplexes a year, while Rs 2,000 crore revenue earned in ticket sales in Karnataka enters other states.