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21 Feb 2024, Edition - 3144, Wednesday

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Mumbai court order to rein in multiplex food prices brings cheer to many

Renald A Frank


Coimbatore: Children making faces in theatres when parents refuse, during interval, to buy them snacks as they are priced exorbitantly may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the verdict of a Mumbai court.

The court, on the basis of a PIL, asked multiplexes to allow food and water from outside to be brought in. The litigation was filed by Mumbai-resident Jinendra Baxi.

The bench ruled that not all could can afford the exorbitant prices fixed by multiplexes. But multiplex managers were not happy with the judgment. London-Paris Multiplex manager in Kolkata Sarfaraz said, “We do allow water bottles to be carried inside. As for snacks and beverages, the prices have been kept high because we need to maintain the ambience which is looked forward to by anyone visiting our multiplexes. We also follow the Supreme Court order of not charging above the MRP in case of beverages. If we allow people to bring food from outside it will hamper our business badly.”

A few other multiplexes chose not to comment on the verdict citing business concerns.

Social activist A. Manoj, who welcomed the judgment, said a mall in Coimbatore charged Rs 40 for a bottle of water which was not affordable to all. Like Mumbai, the administration should relax rules by permitting food and beverages from outside to be carried into the multiplex. It would be huge relief for all if multiplexes gave the choice to its viewers when it came to refreshments.

Surjeet, a PR professional and regular at multiplexes, said, “I believe either you allow outside food into multiplexes or reduce the price of food items available inside the theatre. It is the high rates which force us to bring food from outside.”

Another person P. Bhusan said, “Multiplexes always charge more. For an average person it is something beyond the budget. We plan to watch a film followed by some light snacks but this cannot happen.”

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