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Saturday , 19 August 2017
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Superstars may make you poorer, Tamil Nadu plans flexible ticket pricing

Cheering for Rajinikanth or Kamal Hasan in cinema halls may cost more than Rs 200 if theatre owners in Tamil Nadu have their way with the government after the GST-related stand-off.

Theatre owners have been pushing for flexi-pricing of tickets and, sources said, the government is likely to agree.

Industry sources said movies of Ajit and Vijay may also soon come at a premium, but film buffs will get to watch other movies for less than what they spend now.

Theatre owners and film producers mooted the idea during discussions with the state government for sorting out the ‘local body tax’ proposed by the Tamil Nadu government in the wake of the implementation of GST.

One more round of discussion is pending,” he said. “Flexi-pricing may kick in any time after that.”

Theatres downed their shutters for four days from July 3, and resumed movie shows only after the state government decided to keep the local body tax issue in abeyance and permitted theatres to add GST to the existing ticket prices.

As per the latest proposal, flexi-pricing of tickets could be in the range of Rs 50 – Rs 160 for theatres in the Greater Chennai region, while for the rest of Tamil Nadu, the maximum price could be capped at Rs 140 per ticket.

Additionally, patrons have to pay GST of 18% for tickets priced below Rs 100 and 28% for those priced higher.

Of course, online booking charges are extra, since those portals are run by third-party service providers, the source said.

In Tamil Nadu, theatres have not been permitted to increase ticket prices for nearly 15 years.

“Higher caps apply only for the big stars. For most other movies, prices will be less than the existing ones. The need for increasing prices is severely felt by the theatre owners, since people in even rural areas are asking for pushback seats as in bigger cities,” said Tirupur K Subramanian, a distributor and industry spokesman.

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