Cinema halls: India

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The law

Maharashtra, 2018: Moviegoers can carry food into multiplexes

Bhavika Jain and Urvashi Valecha, Moviegoers can carry food into multiplexes: Maha govt, July 14, 2018: The Times of India

The Maharashtra government said that moviegoers cannot be stopped from carrying outside food into multiplexes, and from next month, it will impose a ban on dual MRP for packaged food and drinks.

Ravindra Chavan, junior minister for food and civil supplies, said according to the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1966, cinemas cannot prohibit consumers from carrying food. The ban on dual pricing — the practice of charging different MRPs for the same product in different places — will be implemented from August 1. Chavan was replying to a calling attention motion moved by leader of the opposition Dhananjay Munde in the legislative council. The measure, if implemented, will bring relief to consumers who face exorbitant charges for snacks and soft drinks in multiplexes. But there is concern over whether the laws cover this issue. Officials from the food department said the 1966 rules the minister is talking about are silent on taking food inside an establishment.

The Multiplex Association of India said they had not received any order and said the matter is sub judice. The Bombay HC is hearing a PIL filed by Jainendra Baxi on multiplexes barring outside food and charging steeply for snacks, seeking to “enforce the right to life of a cinema-goer’’. The HC has asked the state to file an affidavit in four weeks.

Number of screens

2016

Top 4 cinema chains in India and the number of screens; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, May 25, 2016

See graphic, Top 4 cinema chains in India and the number of screens

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