PVR, India’s largest cinema exhibitor, said it has increased its ticket prices in Telangana, a week after the state government increased cinema ticket price bands.
Unlike other states, Telangana government controls the price of cinema tickets, given the high importance attached to movies by people in the state. The Telugu film industry is the second biggest in India after Bollywood, and many Telugu movie producers are also active in Bollywood.
Following the latest government order dated 21 December, PVR said it would now price its tickets at Rs 250 plus GST for regular seats and Rs 300 plus GST for recliner seats — the maximum allowed under the new price bands.
The state government’s order on Dec 21 had fixed multiplex ticket prices at Rs 100-250 each. Earlier, the maximum price chargeable for a regular multiplex seat was Rs 150 plus tax.
Similarly, the maximum price chargeable for a recliner/luxury seat in a multiplex theater used to Rs 250 plus tax, and has now been increased to Rs 300 plus tax.
The government also increased the minimum ticket price for regular, air conditioned theatres to Rs 50 and the maximum to Rs 150 plus GST.
PVR is by far the biggest multiplex operator in India with a whopping 856 screens in India and Sri Lanka.
It has 178 properties in 72 cities, and sells over 100 million tickets per year.
Besides its flagship brand, it also operates brands such as Director’s Cut, LUXE, Sapphire, IMAX, 4DX, P[XL], Playhouse and PVR Onyx.
Along with hotels, airlines and tour operators, multiplex companies have been among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company’s theaters remained closed for almost nine months in 2020, and had barely restarted operations when they were again forced to shut due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India during April and May of 2021.
Over the last six months, most of the theaters have been opened, though they are yet to see the kind of rush and crowds that they were used to before the pandemic.
However, over the last one week, some cities such as Delhi, have again started putting in restrictions on the operations of cinema theaters to mark the arrival of the third wave of COVID-19 in India.
COVID-19 positive cases have almost tripled in Delhi in the last week or so, likely due to the arrival of the omicron variant in India. Going by current trends, Delhi is likely to be the first city in India to see the arrival of the third COVID wave, followed by Mumbai, rest of Maharasthra, Gujarat and other states.