The ongoing crisis in Tamil Nadu with regard to the 10 % local body tax imposed by the government is likely to hit the audience this Diwali. Latest news doing the rounds is that single screen theaters across Tamil Nadu could shut down from October 13 in protest if the current crisis is not resolved. A meeting with the Chief Minister has been scheduled for noon in Chennai on Wednesday. Vishal and other members of the Tamil Nadu Producers Council will be meeting CM Edappadi Palanisamy to take their case forward. On Tuesday, they met municipal administration minister Velumani.
On one hand, theatre owners and the film industry is battling the local body tax and on the other, the sudden increase of ticket prices only for multiplexes has caused another crisis. Single screen theatre owners are up-in-arms as it affects their business tremendously.
The government is asking for ticket prices to be at a minimum of Rs 30 for non-AC theatres and Rs 50 for AC outside Chennai. However, the demand is that this be revised to Rs 40 and Rs 80 respectively. They want uniform ticket prices for multiplexes across Tamil Nadu as well. If they implement the current government order, theatre owners state that they will suffer huge losses given the money spent on infrastructure, maintenance, electricity, etc.
Meanwhile, producers also look to suffering huge losses with the additional 10% local body tax for Tamil films. The government perhaps opines that they could pass the burden on to consumers. But this is not realistic state producers because high ticket prices means decrease in theatre footfalls which will impact their business. The GST has already caused an increase in ticket prices and any further increase could sound the death knell for the Tamil film industry is their concern.