PIL against early morning screenings
The affidavit filed in the Madras High Court says only five shows are allowed to be screened per day according to a GO
For cinema-goers in a film-crazy nation like India, the thrill of watching their favourite stars on the big screen in the 'First Day First Show' (FDFS) is a celebration unto itself. The revelry in these shows is a spectacle, with some films having their first shows as early as at 1 am. Mani Ratnam's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam and Vijay Deverakonda's NOTA had their earliest shows at 5 am in a few theatres in Chennai like Rohini Silver Screen and GK Cinemas. This phenomenon that is mainly centred around Tamil cinema has now led to a Public Interest Litigation being filed at the Madras High Court.
In the affidavit filed by the petitioner, it is said that there are Government Orders saying you can only have five shows a day, which certain theatres seem to be violating. Accepting the petition, the Court has asked the government counsel to respond on how the State regulates shows and if there has been a violation in the first place.
Speaking about this petition, Nikhilesh Surya of Rohini Cinemas says, "We are planning to represent our interests in the court asking for an injunction from these kinds of petitions. Why should there be limitations on the number of shows in the first place?" Saying that the government has already fixed the ceiling on ticket prices, Nikilesh argues that it is a fair market and theatre owners should be allowed to decide the number of shows in their theatres. "You can curtail the working hours, like how restaurants and clubs have closing times, but the opening time and number of shows should be left to us," says Nikilesh adding that a group of theatre owners including him will represent their case in the court.
An official announcement about the other theatres involved is expected later this week.