Have you walked into a theatre in Hyderabad on time for a movie, only to find advertisements playing for several minutes, delaying the time that the movie screening begins? Well, in Hyderabad, it may be against the law.
An FIR was filed against the Cinepolis in Kukatpally after a complaint by a citizen, who argued that delaying the screening of the film is an ‘unfair trade practice’ under the Telangana State Cinema Regulations Act, 1955.
“Committing to a time to the patrons, and making them watch advertisements to generate higher revenue during the time when the show is supposed to start, is highly unethical of the multiplex management and disrespecting of the time of the patrons. This is pure deficiency of service and affects the plans made for the patrons,” Sai Teja from the Forum Against Corruption (FAC) wrote in his complaint to the KPHB police.
Sai Teja said that he had visited the theatre on October 8, for a movie that was supposed to start at 4:30 pm, and filed a police complaint on October 9. An FIR was filed on October 14.
“I spoke to the management and they said that they were playing the advertisements for generating revenue. It was after this, that I approached the police” Sai Teja, who is Head of Public Relations & Social Media for the FAC, told TNM.
A case has now been registered with the KPHB police under relevant sections of the Telangana State Cinemas Regulation Act 1955 and the management of Cinepolis India Private Ltd and the operations manager of the mall have now been named as accused in the case.
“Every theatre has to maintain a complaint book on their premises that we can ask for. One needs to write a complaint in the book and take a photograph so that we can prove that we have already raised the issue when we approach the police,” Sai Teja says.
“After this, they can approach the local police station or file a complaint on the police’s ‘Hawk-Eye’ mobile application, following which the police will begin an investigation,” he adds.