PVR Cinemas at Elante and Centra Mall re-opened on Friday after having remained shut for a day. Following a meeting with representatives of the management, the Deputy Commissioner allowed the cinemas to be re-opened in the afternoon.
The cinemas at the two malls had been closed following suspension of their licence by the DC. This was done as the cinemas had lowered the rates of the tickets for Thursday to Rs 75. As per rules, in Chandigarh it is the DC who decides the rates through a notification. The management of the theatres cannot increase or decrease the rates for at least six months from when these are fixed.
Terming the lowering of rates as flouting of his orders, the DC issued notice to PVR Cinema. However, after recieving no response to the notice, he passed an order suspending the licence for two days. The projector rooms of the theatres were sealed and no film could be screened. This caused losses to the cinemas. People sought refunds for the tickets that had been booked in advance.
A meeting of the DC with the management of the cinemas was held. Thereafter, the theatres were re-opened. With no prior intimation about whether the theatres would be allowed to function, there was not much rush of moviegoers during the day. On Thursday, people who had gone to the theatres had to return disappointed from the counters.
Over the years the rule for ticket rates being fixed by the DC has not been changed. The rule has been in place from the time of single screen theatres. Even with the advent of multiplexes it stays in place even though in the neighbouring towns, the cinema owners are permitted to offer schemes to attract people. This is not the case with Chandigarh. Instead, an archaic system of fixing the ticket prices is still followed.