Chennai theatres to knock off internet booking charges?
By Gopinath Rajendran | Express News Service | Published: 17th July 2017 09:24 AM |
CHENNAI: After the recently implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST), the ticket prices have gone up to a maximum of Rs 153.60. A few theatres, however, have reduced their cut, in order to bring down the overall ticket price.
And even as theatres are struggling to bring in the crowd, the Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners’ Federation president Abirami Ramanathan has now come up with a new move to reduce the ticket prices even further. Ramanathan, who owns a leading multiplex in Chennai, has waived off the internet booking charges which, if incorporated, end up a making the overall price of a ticket Rs 195, when purchased online.
Talking to CE, he says, “Such a high price is difficult for the audience. While I cannot reduce the rate of admission nor the GST, I can choose to bring down the internet charges, and though this means that I’ll have to pay the service providers from my pocket, I’m trying this as an experiment to see if footfalls increase.” Ramanathan believes it could be a successful move. “I cannot force others (theatre owners) to do it, but if it proves to be viable, l believe others might follow suit. If the footfalls increase by 20 per cent, I can make up for the absence of the net charges.”
Vishal, the Secretary General of Nadigar Sangam and the President of Tamil Film Producers’ Council, has thanked Abirami Ramanathan for this initiative. In a statement, he said, “Online booking charge is one of the biggest problems in our industry and we’re happy that Ramanathan has waived it at his theatre.”