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No more counter tickets, only online, says TN minister Kadambur Raju; announces plan to cap food pri- Cinema express

Steps being taken to sell movie tickets exclusively online, says TN minister Kadambur Raju; announces plan to regularise food prices too

Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government had increased the pricing cap for multiplexes and single-screen theatres across the state, after the implementation of GST

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Published: 02nd September 2019

Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C Raju hinted today that the State government is taking steps to sell movie tickets at theatres across the State exclusively online. The minister, answering a question about prices of food items sold at movie theatres, added  that the government had already regularised parking charges and soon would regularise the prices of food items as well.

Speaking to reporters in Kovilpatti, the minister said that the department had been monitoring the sale of movie tickets online and soon would regularise the prices. He added that quality checks would be conducted on the food items being sold at theatres in the State.

The present ticketing system in theatres includes both online and over-the-counter options. This proposed move is seen as a way to regulate ticket pricing for festive releases and star vehicles, as online ticketing ensures accountability, and the solution to doing away with black tickets.

Notably, the Tamil Nadu government had previously increased the pricing cap for multiplexes and single-screen theatres across the state, after the implementation of GST.

Vetri theatre owner Rakesh does not make much of the announcement. "I think his statement has been misinterpreted. From my understanding, I think he meant that all ticket transactions must be made cashless irrespective of where people buy the tickets. I think this is an initiative from the government to make cards mandatory for every citizen in the country," he says. 

Owner of GK Cinemas, Ruben, is happy to get on board an online-only booking arrangement. "75 per cent of ticketing is through web booking anyway. So personally, it's not a problem for us. But there are surely pros and cons if it gets implemented. It is too early to comment on it." 

Some theatre owners don't think it is even a feasible idea. "In the cities, about 40-50 per cent is through online booking, but in other centres, it is significantly low," he says.

Ticket prices aside, a perennial grouse for moviegoers has been the pricing of food and beverages. The Information and Publicity minister also announced the government's decision to try and keep a check on that too.

While Rakesh does not mind the ticket booking initiative, he is confounded about the food pricing regulation. "Each product is ingredient-based. Each product has its own standard depending on the outlet. Prices are based on that," added Rakesh.

Ruben of GK cinema agrees. "The raw ingredients of a food product may vary from place to place and depends on various factors. How could they standardise pricing for different qualities of the same food? Let us just wait and see how it plays out," he says.

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