Exorbitant ticket rates: Movie buffs don't give a damn
Despite the exorbitant ticket rates, movie buffs seem to be determined not to miss even a single movie that hits theatres. Since the kind of movie lovers visiting each kind of theatre differs, the rates do not seem to be affecting them much. There was a time when most of the cinema halls were jampacked with middle class and lower middle class people. Autorickshaw drivers, construction workers, bus conductors and their families constituted the major share of the audience. The picture has changed now. There are theatres that cater to audiences who do not wish to spend too much on a movie and then there are multiplexes. Those movie lovers who have safety and quality movie viewing in mind are ready to compromise on the rates. “The increase in movie ticket rates is like the increase in the price of liquor. People are not going to stop going to theatres. I have never missed even one show at Crown or Film City. Not just myself or my friends, even our families tag along. Yes, it does get a bit exorbitant when we take our families along. A family of four will have to dole out Rs 1,000 to watch a movie. But given the picture quality in our theatres, nowadays I think it’s worth it. Besides this, women and families mostly prefer theatres with good facilities and safety, and for them, rates do not matter at all” says Midhun Pankaj of Vellimadukunnu. Vinod A R, the owner of Crown theatre, says, “Definitely, the rates of tickets do matter. Before Crown theatre was renovated, a large chunk of my audience was mostly autorickshaw drivers. They now just come and stand in front of the theatre and watch the posters. They feel it was not fair to increase the rates. However, now we do have a regular set of audience. They are here every weekend. Considering the investment we have made, which is close to Rs 4 crore, Rs 150 for a ticket is not too much according to me.” Geetha Venugopal, from Eranhipalam, who is a teacher in a government school in the city, says, “In the past six months, I have not missed even a single Malayalam movie. I go to the theatre with other teachers on weekends and at times with my family. Sure, the rates are not what it used to be, but the movie viewing experience has changed. I don’t think there is a demarcation of upper middle class or lower class when it comes to movie viewing. All families are choosy about movie viewing for obvious reasons. So, one or two movies in a month does not matter.” Of late, a set of disappointed moviegoers had requested the Corporation to constitute a panel to monitor facilities provided by theatres when compared to the rates of tickets.