Audience staged a protest during the matinee show of a new release at Devi Multiplex last week against the non-functioning of air-conditioner in the hall is a classic example to showcase the raw deal being given to film goers in Kakinada. Despite revising the entry tickets time and again, most of the cinema hall managements failed to provide basic facilities to audience. At a time when the cinema halls are turning into multiplexes, there is a steady increase in the number of complaints from the film goers.
“When they are collecting Rs.90 per entry ticket, it is their responsibility to ensure that the air-conditioner is functioned. Otherwise, they must accept their inability and refund the ticket amount,” says V.B. Rama Rao of Vidyut Nagar, the man who initiated the dharna in the Multiplex. “What is wrong in expecting value for money? All we need are the basic facilities in the cinema hall to enjoy the movie in a comfortable manner,” says Mr. Rama Rao. The ire from the audience, however, has not stopped the management from continuing the show.
“Theatre owners have been facing a lot of problems. There is a drop in the occupancy and increase in power tariff and power cut as well,” says M.V.L. Narasimha Raju (Pradeep), president of the East Godavari Film Exhibitors Association. The competition among the cinema hall owners is forcing some of them to focus on renovation. Some owners opted to convert their cinema halls into function halls. “The operational expenditure remained same for each show, notwithstanding the occupancy. Of late, there is a steady drop in the audience owing to television and other sorts of entertainment,” Mr Narasimha Raju said.
The theatre owners also blame poor quality of films for the decline in occupancy. “Though a good number of films are being released every year, there are a very few blockbusters,” observes G. Nanaji, proprietor of Sripriya-Padmapriya twin theatre complex.