Chennai, Aug 11 (): Amma Theatres numbering 15 will sell tickets for Rs 25 in Chennai. This has rattled the exhibitors. These theatres run by Chennai Corporation will come up in many of its old unused buildings like marriage halls and offices. These buildings will be renovated and air-conditioned with the sound and projection system.
The highest rate for a ticket will be Rs 25. This Amma brand theatre is aimed at catering to lower and working class. The exhibitors are rattled as these theatres could change the way the rules that are laid out in the metro by the association.
A sort of cartel works to garner the big-ticket films and many a small time producer has to either cough up huge rental rates to get a berth in a multiplex or have it lying in the cans. As evident that Amma Theatres are going to come up in areas which do not classify for giving first run films as per association rules, it will have to tweak it. It cannot term Amma theatres as ‘B’ class either.
As multiplexes are elbowing out small stand-alone theatres, film viewing has become costly. Multiplexes have two rows in the front for low-priced tickets. The eatables sold in the theatres are priced more than MRP rates and distributors claim that the products are sold exclusively to these theatres.
Multiplexes claim that money comes from its restaurants and snack- beverage sales. Viewing a movie costs not less than Rs 150 per head. Though exhibitors cite figures to show that theatres are closing, Amma Theatres like other ventures will be subsidized and films will be acquired from distributors on its own terms.
Amma’s announcement to open a studio floor in the defunct Film City was greeted with enthusiasm but the theatre project has not brought cheer to the exhibitors in the city.
Amma Canteen that sells breakfast for Rs 5 and meals for same rates has been a hit and mostly workers and those on low salaries are patronizing it. The effect is that wayside stalls despite price rise of commodities cannot hike the tariff.
Amma bottled water for Rs 10, Amma Salt and stores that sell vegetables at whole sales rates are yet another hit. Now, farmers can buy Amma Seeds at low rates from the government. Amma brand is a big hit with the common man for sure.