UDHAGAMANDALAM: Please allow us to pay more for the tickets, say members of the audience at the renovated Assembly Rooms Theatre, where the minimum charge is only `4 and the maximum `30.
Assembly Rooms, run by a trust and with a history of over a century, is the pride of the Nilgiris, one of them told Express. The lowest ticket rate is `4, whereas tea sold in the food court there costs `10. The theatre shut for renovation in 2011 and reopened on November 25 with houseful shows of James Bond movie Spectre.
The theatre, which celebrated its centenary in 1986 with a film festival, was renovated to improve the quality of screening and remain competitive at a time of multiplexes. In the place of seven cinema halls in the town, including Assembly Rooms, only two function now.
Originally built as a ballroom for British soldiers, it used to be called Misquith’s Rooms. “In 1922, Lady Willington bought it for `50,000 and donated it to the people of Ooty. It is the only cinema hall in the country with the Governor as patron and the District Collector as president,” said D Radhakrishnan, honorary secretary, of Assembly Rooms.
On ticket charges, Collector P Shankar said they were fixed as per the rules of TN Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, according to which only `4 is collected for 10 per cent of the seats.