Movie tickets in Karnataka will now cost no more than Rs 200, the Karnataka government announced in the state budget on Wednesday.
The move comes as part of the state government's attempts to develop the film industry in Karnataka. Along with the cap on tickets, the state has also announced that a film city will be set up in Mysuru for the development of Kannada film industry.
The Chief Minister announced a "Policy for implementation of uniform admission fee in all cinema theatres including multiplexes in the State," and said that the maximum admission fee will be Rs 200.
The announcement comes after a 14-member committee headed by SV Rajendra Singh Babu submitted a report to the Karnataka government suggesting a cap on multiplex ticket prices at Rs 120 in August last year.
The committee also recommended a compulsory screening of two shows of Kannada films during prime time - and the govt has come very close to accepting it.
The Committee's chairman, Rajendra Singh, told TNM, "We studied the matter for nine months and gave our recommendations to the government a few months ago. It is heartening to see that the government has accepted our recommendations."
The Budget has announced a "mandatory exhibition of Kannada and regional language films in one screen of multiplex cinemas of the state in prime time between 1.30pm and 7.30pm."
Reacting to the development, Sa Ra Govindu, President, Karnataka Film Chamber said that it was a welcome move by the state government.
"This is a long pending demand that we have been raising for a few years now. We are glad that the state government has taken cognisance of our demands. Making exhibiting Kannada film mandatory in all multiplexes will be a great boost for the Kannada film industry."
For movie lovers, this move comes as a great relief. “This is really a very good news for all movie lovers because paying Rs 300-400 for each and every movie is very difficult for many of us,” said Akshunya Bharti, an engineering graduate.
"A Rs 200 cap will mean we don’t have to wake up early in the morning to catch the morning shows or take leave to watch movies,” said Karan Sharma, a 25-year-old real estate professional.
Ticket prices are capped at Rs 120 in neighbouring Tamil Nadu where the theater-owners have been fighting to raise the prices for years now. Prime-time airing of state languages is now done in Maharashtra, and the Rs 5 cess is implemented in Kerala.