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TN cinemas allowed to hike ticket prices

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CHENNAI, April 12

CINEMAS in Tamil Nadu have been allowed to increase their ticket prices by up to 75 per cent of the existing prices, except for the lowest category, the Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa, announced in the Assembly on Friday.

She said this move was taken to help the cinemas, whose business had been affected by cable television operations and other audio and video entertainment avenues available to the public. Besides, this would help the State increase its revenue through entertainment tax.

Ms Jayalalithaa said in Chennai, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli, the ticket price for the lowest category should not exceed Rs 10 and Rs 5 in all other places. The managements would also be allowed to reduce the number of seats for the lowest category from the current 20 per cent of the total capacity to 10 per cent of capacity.

When new films were released, the cinemas would be permitted to fix the ticket prices without any ceiling for two weeks after getting permission from the licensing authority and the Commercial Taxes department. The maintenance charge, levied by the cinemas as per a Government Order issued in September 1994, was being scrapped. These measures would be effective from April 14 — Tamil New Year's Day.

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