Release of too many high profile and much-awaited movies during the festival season has become a major challenge for the theatre owners and police who are confronted with the problem of managing the milling crowds trying to get tickets.

Often, theatres witness a near-stampede, especially with the crowd coming for watching the movie in low class rates of admission.

There used to be clashes, heated exchanges and arguments.

On many occasions, the clashing groups used to be chased away or taken to the police station for registering a case and at times used to be let off with a warning.

Film goers, police and theatre owners had reconciled themselves to the reality that it is just unavoidable.

But sometimes lawless behaviour by fans and reaction by over-worked and irritated staff turn into a clash, leading to injuries.

But, the Wednesday's incident at a theatre in Idyarpalayam, where a movie-goer was beaten to death by a group, reportedly led by a theatre staff and assisted by those who were hired to regulate the crowd, was a shocking one, especially on a festival day.

With the film industry using the media extensively for advertising about a to-be-released or a just-released movie, there is big hype created for the movie.

This results in milling crowds and everyone wants to see the movie on the first day of release and the first show itself.

The least is that people struggle to get tickets for the first day or at least on the second or third day.

Even the latest trend of releasing a movie in several theatres has not helped in regulating or controlling the crowd as it had resulted in the number of people wanting to see the film immediately swelling, says V. Senthil, Chief Executive Officer of VR Complex (Central and Kanakadhara Theatres).

Mr. Senthil said that the decision of his management to encourage more of online booking and advance reservation had in fact helped in reducing the number of people coming to the theatre all the way to try their luck for a ticket.

In addition, queue system with iron railings and well-planned bandobust had resulted in the Deepavali day and the next day going off smoothly.

A top police official said that whenever new films are released, police officials automatically deploy police personnel. In addition, the theatres also promptly send in the request for security.

But the police strength for theatres proves to be inadequate considering the size of the crowds and their behaviour. Police also pointed out that youngsters, especially 75 per cent of them who come for a movie, are in an inebriated condition.

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