The Maharashtra government’s decision to allow outside food inside multiplexes across the state has evoked a mixed reaction from the moviegoers. When we asked popular TV actors their opinion on the issue, this is what they had to say:
Ssharad Malhotra: I don’t think anti-social elements can take soft drinks laced with liquor inside the cinema hall. It is not that easy as it is a public place and if one is caught public, they will not be spared. Outside food should be a strict no-no as a certain decorum should be maintained in public space especially in multiplexes. Instead, they can have a variety of cuisines to offer to the customers that add to the joy of movie viewing. Excessive uncomfortable food odour from an adjacent patron is surely an issue. It will affect business and so some guidelines need to be set. Getting food from external sources might just dampen the spirits and also pose a problem to the adjacent patron watching the film. The garbage issue will also be there, maybe once implemented changes can be made according to the response.
Mohammad Nazim: It’s a good idea to allow eatables in the cinema hall. I am a fitness freak, so I can carry healthy food items and a protein shake. Different people may carry different food items which may smell bad and can create an issue when the boxes are opened. Security will have to tighten and ensure no alcohol is carried inside.
Abhinav Shukla: It can be an unpleasant experience. Imagine someone eating parathas and belching! I don’t understand for a 2-hour movie, how much food is required to be eaten. Of course, people might carry snacks and their own water bottles since there have been a lot of complaints about the bad quality of food at multiplexes and the prices are exorbitant. The monopoly is broken, so now the prices will become reasonable and quality will improve.
Akashdeep Sabir: A lot of problems will start now, not just related to alcohol but also with hygiene, rats, cockroaches and what not. The cinema experience is about to be over. That is one of the problems I have mentioned. It will have a picnic atmosphere. There will be too much chatter throughout the movie and that will disturb patrons. It could have been handled differently. Let’s see how it goes. People may be embarrassed to open their home boxes on their seats. I guess a compulsory low-cost food stall would have made life easier. The government has not thought this through. I guess this will be reversed soon.
Sheeba: Yes, I feel it will be a nuisance. People will bring in all sorts of things to the cinema halls. Alcohol is definitely on the top of the list. Garbage all over would be the next concern. But, I guess like on planes, they will have to have extra security measures to check everything. The overall experience hopefully shouldn’t change.
Pranitaa Pandit: I am worried since now the audience is allowed food and drinks in the multiplex, there is a chance that people will be sneaking stuff which they are not supposed to. At the same time, there are so many shows running parallelly in every multiplex. The pressure on the checking counter will increase and then eventually something wrong will happen. Everyone likes to eat different food. We have many different cultures, so not everyone would be comfortable with the food brought by other people. The smell of the theatre would change over a period of time. I just think there was the better way to handle things. They could have cut the price of food items available at the theatre.
Ayyaz Ahmed: It’s a good decision as the consumers feel cheated or taken advantage of when they have to pay extra. Thankfully, we are getting a pro-consumer decision. It sounds beneficial as now they can actually charge less for the food sold inside. There might be no problem with people carrying their own snacks as I definitely don’t want to smell butter chicken or some karela ki sabzi inside. But let’s see how it goes.
Sneha Wagh: The idea of taking food inside seems good as long as hygiene is maintained. It may create execution issues as different people carrying different food items will lead to bad odour all around. Some mishaps may lead to food spilling on the seats itself creating damage to the property.
Neha Kaul: It may be a serious issue as the overall experience of cinema watching will be affected. Right now, only a few people buy something in the interval due to price issues. But since now, one can take our own food items inside, the percentage of people eating food inside will increase many folds. I mean we have all been irritated with people munching on popcorn noisily in the hall. So, imagine 80% of the public, eating one thing or the other not just in interval but throughout the film. In my opinion, only the prices of the food items should have been reduced and made reasonable. Anyways once it is implemented then only we will come to know the exact complications and consequences.