CHENNAI: The maximum parking fee that can be collected at movie theatres in the state is Rs 20 for cars and Rs 10 for motorbikes, as per a recent order by Additional Chief Secretary Niranjan Mardi. However, these rates are not applicable for theatres in malls, as they are governed by different rules.
The government order issued on November 30, but made public only on Tuesday, said the new parking rates were effective from December 1. However, the theatres owners’ association said the order was ambiguous and sought an appointment with Niranjan Mardi.
“It is not clear if the rates are on an hourly basis or per show. We hope there is some clarity after the meeting,” said Abirami Ramanathan, president of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association.
As per the order, theatres in municipal corporations and special grade municipalities can charge Rs 20 for cars and three-wheelers and Rs 10 for motorbikes. In municipalities, the fee is Rs 15 for cars and Rs 7 for motorbikes; in town and village panchayats, it is Rs 5 and Rs 3. There will be no parking charge for bicycles.
The fees were fixed by amending the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Act 1955 and the order would mean cinema hall owners cannot change the price at will or charge exorbitant rates for parking.
“The parking rate charged by malls will be regulated by them, not the cinema halls. The amendment may not be applicable to Escape, but will be applied at Sathyam,” a spokesperson of SPI Cinemas told The New Indian Express, but added that there is lack of clarity about the amendment.