Mumbai, (The Hindu): The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) said on Thursday that its workers would keep a “vigil” on the food arrangements and prices in multiplexes from August 6.
Last month, MNS workers had thrashed the staff of a multiplex in Pune over exorbitant rates of food items and viewers not being allowed to bring food from outside. The video of the violence had gone viral, and the issue of food prices in movie theatres was discussed during the monsoon session of the State Legislature.
MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande said, “From August 6, MNS workers will visit all multiplexes and check whether the government order is being implemented or not.” Ameya Khopkar, president of the MNS cinema wing, Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Sena, has warned multiplexes of an “MNS style” agitation if they fail to follow State orders.
The State government has set guidelines regulating food prices and allowing viewers to bring food from outside with them. Minister of State for Food and Civil Supply Ravindra Chavan had said in the Legislative Council, “There is no ban on personal food in multiplexes. If multiplex authorities prohibit it, they will have to face action.”
After the Pune incident, members of the State Multiplex Owners Association had met MNS chief Raj Thackeray and requested him to intervene. In that meeting, the association had agreed to reduce the prices of items like vada pav, popcorn and sandwiches to around 50.
Meanwhile, MNS workers from Kalyan Dombivli have already started their “checks”. On Thursday, they stormed into the SM5 multiplex in Kalyan, alleging that the multiplex was not following the government order. They stopped the agitation after the management accepted their demand.
Rating agency Crisil has said the multiplex industry could take a hit of around 100 crore in profits if half of the viewers get their own food and beverages. It said multiplexes may have to increase ticket prices By 70 per ticket.
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