Andhra Pradesh

Decks cleared by for online sale of movie tickets

The Legislative Assembly on Wednesday facilitated the much-debated online ticketing for movies and screening of only four shows per day by passing the AP Cinemas Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The A.P. State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation will operate the online portal through which tickets will be sold. Payments will be made to the theatres on a daily basis through an RBI gateway.

Tabling the Bill, Minister for Transport and Information and Public Relations Perni Venkataramaiah said it was intended to stop the exploitation of movie-goers, particularly the poor and middle classes for whom the price of tickets ranging from ₹300 to ₹500 was a big burden.

The relevant guidelines were blatantly violated. Besides, theatres screened up to seven shows a day starting from the early mornings against the permitted four, and sold tickets at exorbitant rates in the name of benefit shows, he said. The government had, therefore, decided to step in to bring the ticket rates within the reach of the common people thereby sending a clear message to some producers and distributors that they could no longer call the shots to the detriment of the masses for whom movies are supposed to be a cost-effective medium of entertainment, the Minister added.

Mr. Venkataramaiah said cinema tickets could be purchased as usual online, through mobile phones and at the theatres an hour in advance. However, the show timings would be fixed by the government. The Minister observed that there had been a huge mismatch between the cinema collections, the revenues claimed to be earned by producers and distributors and the GST payments made to the government. All these anomalies would be rectified, he said.

Once the online system went live, the government would know the quantum of taxes to be remitted to it. Negative response to the online system from the distributors or producers who spend crores on making a movie was understandable, but a political party and some TV news channels loyal to it created doubts in the minds of the stakeholders with ulterior motives, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 3:01:57 PM |

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