‘Corporation council has no role in fixing rates’
As movies have become expensive for the residents of Kozhikode with almost all the cinemas in the city increasing their ticket rates, the Kozhikode Corporation maintains that the council has no role in fixing the rates.
Many had found the chaos created by the Opposition councillors in Saturday’s council meeting questionable for they believed it was a brilliant cover for passing the request from movie-hall owners to increase their rates without questions or discussion. It was amidst chaos that the ruling front councillors passed the 107-point agenda, without any discussion.
Four movie halls in the city have increased their rates after the council passed their requests on Saturday, starting with PVS Film City, the first multiplex in the city, and Radha, Ganga, and Apsara. Instead of separate charges on weekends and other days, the PVS Film City on Mavoor Road has unified the charges that range from Rs.150 to Rs.300, as against the earlier range of Rs.130 to Rs.275. In Radha on S.M. Street, the balcony seats now cost Rs.100 while the first class rate is Rs.80. Ganga has raised the King Circle charges from Rs.50 to Rs.60 while the Queen Circle charges are raised from Rs.40 to 50. The recently renovated Apsara too has unified its rates for all days as Rs.85 for lower circle, Rs.90 for upper circle, and Rs.130 for the Ramp. The KSFDC-owned Kairali and Sree too have applied for rate increase after they were renovated recently.
However, the Kozhikode Corporation maintains that the rates are fixed exclusively according to the discretion of theatre owners and the council had no right to interfere in it. Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef told The Hindu that there had been a circular from the Municipal Director in this regard stating that not accepting the request of movie hall owners would adversely affect the income of the local body. This was because the local bodies were to be paid entertainment tax for every show by the movie halls, which amounted to around 20 per cent of the collection. Besides, the directorate had deemed that the local bodies had no right to fix the ticket rates, he added.