Post the Andhra Pradesh State Government’s decision to reduce the prices of cinema tickets, and subsequent raids on theatres at various places in the State, Visakhapatnam District Collector, Dr A Mallikarjuna IAS, inspected various theatres in Visakhapatnam.
The District Collector inspected various theatres in the city, as well as in the district, and verified the online ticket rates, cleanliness and other issues in the theatres. On his visit, he also interacted with the filmgoers and took their feedback on the online ticketing system.
Reportedly, two theatres in Visakhapatnam were found faulty. The Jagadamba and Melody Theatres were instructed to sell the tickets at the rates prescribed by the Andhra Pradesh State Government. Jagadamba Theatre was held for charging higher rates for the 3D screen.
Speaking to media on his visit, the District Collector informed that the revenue officials had already inspected several theatres in the district and warned the theatres’ management that strict action would be initiated against those not complying with the norms.
It should be noted that on 15 December, 2021, the Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended G.O.35, which sought to fix the prices of cinema tickets. As per the G.O., while the minimum price was Rs. 5, the maximum was Rs. 250, per ticket. The prices varied in the municipality, in the nagar panchayat, and in the municipal corporation limits.
In the municipal corporation limits, the rates were fixed between Rs. 40 and Rs. 250 depending upon the theatre type (multiplex, AC, or non-AC). The prices were between Rs. 40 and Rs. 150 in municipality limits; Rs. 10 and Rs. 120 in nagar panchayats; and Rs. 5 and Rs. 80 in gram panchayats.
The Telugu Film Industry (TFI) had expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s decision and urged it to reconsider the issue. The industry representatives had also explained the situation to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the I&PR Minister, Perni Venkataramaiah.