Pune: The Exhibitors Association has condemned the assault on a PVR staffer by MNS activists on Thursday evening. A group of 40 MNS workers, led by MNS corporator Kishore Shinde and the party’s film wing vice-president, Ramesh Pardeshi assaulted assistant manager of PVR cinemas at PVR Icon multiplex, Pavilion Mall, Senapati Bapat Road over high prices of popcorn and vada pav.
A complaint was later registered at Chatuhshrungi police station, following which arrests were made. Reacting to the incident, Deepak Kudale, President, Cinema Owners & Exhibitors Association of India, Mumbai in a statement said, “We deeply condemn the law taken in hand, while beating PVR staffer by activists. The poor staffer is not at fault. The police should take a proper call. This is unnecessary involvement and let High Court decide first.”
He added, “PVR and other multiplexes are as good as 5 Star and hence, cinegoers are attracted to pay higher ticket rates. Now-a-days, some people do not like to visit and watch movies in single screen cinemas. Our single screen association is also deeply hurt. Suggestions of patrons to consider, not to make compulsion to purchase food at higher rate can be solicited. But this is not the way.” Sharing similar thought, President of Pune Exhibitors’ Association Sadanand Mohol said, “This shouldn’t have happened and it’s absolutely wrong. It’ the government who should take a call on how to tackle high prices at multiplexes and it is not the job of political parties.”
He added if patrons have issues paying high prices for food products, they should stop buying. “Let the patrons decide if they want to pay such prices or not. If they are buying the items, what can the sellers do?” he
Several patrons reacted to the incident too.
Siddhart Gole, a student of Commerce, Modern College, Shivajinagar, said, “We could never afford the food at cinema halls. If we go in a groups, we split the total amount and then we buy popcorn or any other food items which would be available in that money which we have.”
“Most of the times, we are short of money because the ticket prices are also high along with the food prices,” he further added.
Anshika Gupta, a student of mass communication at Indira College, Wakad, said, “The food items at multiplexes were never affordable for a person whose only source of income is his/her dad’s pocket money. The prices of the tickets are also so high that after paying for the tickets, we can’t think about food and other recreational items.”
“If we are in bigger groups, then we share a large or a tub popcorn which costs around Rs 290 as the quantity is also good enough for us,” she further added.
Monica Mahakal, an IT professional, said, “Surely, the prices of the food items in the multiplexes burn a hole in the pocket as they are high. I never find it reasonable to pay such high rates for munching snacks. The prices are set like a main course item which are not even filling for a person. And after the judgement which was passed by the Supreme Court recently that any person should be allowed to take home made food items at any cinema hall, we feel relieved. But if we are going for a movie directly from office, it really scares us to pay high amount for the food which is available at cheaper rates outside.”