CINEMA HALLS CAN DISALLOW MOVIEGOERS FROM TAKING OUTSIDE FOOD & BEVERAGES INSIDE, RULES SUPREME COURT
In what can be rightly called the death knell for cinemas today which are reeling under the impact of high price of tickets and the challenges posed by the advent of OTT, the Supreme Court has held that an owner of a cinema hall has the right to regulate movies goers from carrying food and beverage from outside, according to the portal boxofficeworldwide.com. Yes. A bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha underlined that a cinema hall is the private property of the owner so he can put such terms and conditions.
The bench was hearing a batch of pleas filed by theatre owners and Multiplex Association of India challenging a 2018 verdict of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in which the High Court had allowed cinema goers to carry their own food and beverages inside the hall.
However, thankfully for the cine goers, setting aside the direction of the High Court, the Supreme Court has exempted infants from the order and also allowed water to be taken inside by stating that the High Court had exceeded jurisdiction in passing such an order. “It has been submitted to movie hall owners that drinking water should be supplied free of charge and when an infant accompanies a parent, as a matter of practice hall owners do not object to a reasonable amount of food for the infant.”
The Court added, “A cinema hall owner has the right to regulate the entry of food and beverage. Whether to consume what is available is entirely upon the choice of the movie goer. Viewers visit the hall for entertainment.”
Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan also submitted that there is no compulsion to buy the food. As regards water, all halls should ensure that hygienic water is made available free, he added.