Siddharth on low cap on movie ticket prices: ‘Stop persecuting the film industry’

Actor Siddharth on Thursday expressed his anguish in a series of tweets over the Andhra Pradesh government’s low cap on movie ticket prices and limiting the number of shows in cinema halls per day. His take on these matters come amid the ongoing row between the Andhra Pradesh government and the Telugu film fraternity. He also suggested the government to set ticket rates based on the area-wise calculation of average house rent and per capita consumer spending on durables.

In his tweets, Siddharth wrote, “You don’t tell an a/c restaurant how much to charge for a plate of idli or a coffee. Why is it that the film industry has to constantly be seen as a problem area by govts intent on telling them how to recover their investment? The GOs for ticket rates and limits on no. of shows is an MRTP violation. Give cinema and cinema halls a chance to survive. Please.”

“Suggestion to respected state governments… Please calculate average house rent and per capita consumer spend on durables in an area, and device a formula to set ticket rates for cinemas in that area, if not universally. #Cinema,” he added.

With #SaveCinema tag, he also wrote, “The first time I saw a movie abroad was 25 years ago. I used my student I-card and saw a movie for 8 dollars. That was Rs. 200 at the time. Today our films match all countries in technology, talent and employment. Governments and politicians have no moral right to police ticket, parking or concession stand rates. You give more respect to alcohol and tobacco than cinema. Stop this charade. Millions of people earn their livelihood legally from our trade. Don’t tell us how to do our business. Tax us, yes, censor us, as illogically as you do. Don’t throw producers and their employees out of their livelihood. Nobody is forcing anyone to watch films.. many people encouraged piracy saying they want entertainment for free. For those people and those trying to make a charity out of movie watching… wait to watch a film when it is affordable to you. The industry does not owe you a subsidy. It owes you entertainment. For every film billionaire there are millions of wage earners and investors. If you want to pick on the wealthy, they exist in every field… Why single out only our industry.”

“A film’s budget and scale is not decided by the consumer… It is decided by the creator and the investor. No individual has the right to decide how much anyone earns from cinema. Would you go and question politicians or businessmen who came from poverty and died billionaires? Stop persecuting the film industry. We know the value of food and the greatness of the farmer who gives us our daily meal. We will fight for them always… We may not be as great as the farmer but we are also humans and tax payers. We work hard and put our livelihood on the line to entertain and create art. Stop killing the hand that tries to entertain,” he added in a thread of tweets.

Recently, actor Chiranjeevi and veteran filmmaker K Raghavendra Rao also expressed their concern over the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to have a low cap on movie ticket prices.

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