The reduction in Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cinema tickets from January 1 has evoked a mixed response from filmgoers in the city. The Central government had reduced GST from 28% to 18% for tickets priced upwards of Rs. 100 from 18% to 12% for tickets priced up to Rs.100.
The ticket price at INOX Theatres, which stood at Rs.150 before the reduction in GST, has now come down to Rs. 138, according to sources. Anyway, audiences will not get any relief at the time of first two weeks of a film’s release as the government has permitted theatre management to increase the ticket prices in agreement with the demand for the film.
Photo Source: The Hindu
Prices shoot up
New film ticket prices are being fixed at Rs. 200 or more by theatre management depending on its demand. The ticket cost at the time of 2 weeks for new films used to be high even before the reduction in GST. Some theatres charging Rs. 150 for the premium seats and Rs. 118 for the standard range of seats. Some filmgoers feel that the reduction of around Rs. 12 on a ticket could add up to an extraordinary benefit when large groups go together to watch a movie.
Fans protest hikes
However, there are many who see no benefit in the move, as they go to watch the movie immediately after its release and hence there is no reason for them to cheer as theatre managements raise the ticket prices.
“There is no justification in the hiking of ticket rates for the first two weeks. In January last year, I had to shell out Rs.100 as against the normal ticket price of RS.60 for a new film. A few days ago, I had to pay Rs.150 as against the normal price of Rs.100 at a regular theatre. At some of the INOX theatres, the hike is more than Rs.100,” say filmgoers.
Film exhibitors have welcomed the reduction in GST saying it would result in increased footfalls and greater patronage of theatres.
“We welcome the decision. Customers will benefit and they would flock to the theatres in greater numbers,” express Jagadish Kumar, proprietor of Jagadamba Theatre.
“Though the GST on cinema tickets has been reduced by the government, many of the exhibitors are, however, not passing on the benefit to the consumers,” expressed an official.