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India
14 Jul 2018

#UnpopularOpinion: Why allowing outside-food in theaters isn't a good idea

We don't want 'achaar ki smell' in theaters

Bringing cheer to the masses, the Maharashtra government yesterday announced that people will now be allowed to bring their own food inside cinema halls and multiplexes.

At the outset, it looked like a step in the right direction. But, it hardly is.

If you look closely, no one would win when this new rule is implemented. Here's our rather unpopular, unconventional opinion.

In context

We don't want 'achaar ki smell' in theaters
To begin with, it will increase littering and overall confusion

The reality check

To begin with, it will increase littering and overall confusion

Whether we accept it or not, we Indians are not known for our civic senses. We are also an impatient lot, especially while standing in a queue.

I don't need to wait and watch to understand how this will pan out. It will invariably lead to delay at the entrances, more littering inside the theaters, more shouting of "tune achaar liya?" and overall confusion.

And, who will clean the mess on time?

The math

To compensate for losses, the tickets price will increase

Civic issues aside, let's do the math of who will bear the brunt.

Reportedly, 25-30% of revenue of multiplexes comes from food and beverages. Now, if that takes a hit, the multiplex owners are bound to increase the ticket prices.

There are many of us who don't have this necessary urge to eat while watching a movie. But, now as a side effect of this rule, I would end up paying for someone else's food. Socialism, much?

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Bollywood is already bleeding, it would be the final nail

How?

Bollywood is already bleeding, it would be the final nail

Bollywood is, anyway, bleeding money.

Many distributors agree exorbitant prices of the tickets are the biggest reason for fewer footfalls in theaters, and Bollywood is failing to recover money.

Notably, Salman Khan had earlier said prices should be brought down to Rs. 200-250, but that ain't happening.

This is certainly not good or well thought through news for Bollywood.

Details

Apart from Bollywood, who wins and who loses?

In case the new rule is implemented completely, there are 3 scenarios:

- Local hawkers would set up their shops outside of big multiplexes. Winner: Hawkers. Loser: Multiplexes.

The prices of the food items would be drastically reduced inside multiplexes, but the overall experience is hit. Loser: Customers. Loser: Multiplexes.

- Because of increase in tickets' price, the overall footfall in theaters decreases, over time and people end up 'Netflixing'. Winner: Digital streaming websites. Loser: Multiplexes.

What's the solution?

Instead of the knee-jerk reaction (which has always been the style of politicians), they could have implemented workable solutions - putting a threshold limit to the marked-up prices, to begin with. Is anyone listening?

All said, it is politicians' way of fooling people

The politics

All said, it is politicians' way of fooling people

Notably, this order came two weeks after MNS members assaulted a multiplex employee over high prices of food items.

A week after that, the top management of the multiplex met MNS Chief Raj Thackeray and discussed the issue. And, voila a decision has been made out of hooliganism.

This is nothing else but a pseudo form of socialism. This government is confused, about time they tell us what they truly support.

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