Pricey tickets with minimum facilities at theatres go unchecked, writes L. Srikrishna

For many Maduraiites, watching a film in a cinema hall is the only entertainment outside home. But with most of the cinema houses not in a good shape in many aspects, people are an aggrieved lot these days.

Frequent movie-goers feel they do not get the value for money. They feel prices of tickets are exorbitant and though air-conditioning is provided for some time, it is switched off after some time.

And they charge Rs. 5 for parking two-wheelers and Rs. 10 for cars. In some cases, vehicles are parked outside the theatre, causing hindrance to smooth flow of traffic. Sometimes, the police tow away these vehicles, say residents.

Recently, a two-wheeler hit an old woman while she was crossing New Natham Road after alighting from her car to go to a theatre. Police said that she suffered multiple injuries. Traffic came to a halt for sometime on the stretch.

Tokens for tickets

A cinema hall in Arapalayam issues plastic tokens at the counter and collects anywhere between Rs. 25 and Rs. 50 depending on the size of the crowd. Whenever a new movie is screened, the price of ticket is fixed by the theatre managers unilaterally, public allege.

However, when contacted, a manager of a leading cinema house in Anna Nagar said that with frequent power shut downs, providing air-conditioners for long durations was impossible. The tickets were sold as per government norms. Some theatres might have issued tokens for advance booking, he claimed.

A police officer said that policemen are deployed for bandobust to theatres only on request to the Commissioner of Police. On payment of a nominal fee, a team would be sent to the spot to regulate traffic and to prevent unlawful activities such as eve-teasing.

Cinema goers expect value for money at the theatres. As in metropolitan cities, the theatres here should not only sport a new look, but present a feel good spot and entertain the public, many feel.