A Mumbai based film director has approached the Bombay High Court against the prohibition on carrying outside food in movie theatres and multiplexes. Jainendra Baxi, who has filed the public interest litigation (PIL), claimed that there was “no legal or statutory provision that prohibits one from carrying personal food articles or water inside movie theatres”. In fact, the petition said, the Maharashtra Cinemas(Regulation) Rules prohibit hawking and selling food inside the theatres and auditoriums.
“This rule is openly flouted by the cinema halls which have several stalls selling food and beverages,” it added. The restrictions on bringing outside food to the theatres particularly affected the senior citizens and those who could not eat, for medical reasons, “the junk food that the food stalls in the theatres sell”, the petition said.
The moviegoers must be allowed to carry eatables inside the auditoriums and disallowing this violated their”constitutional right to life”, it added, while seeking a direction to the state government to clarify its position in this regard. The PIL is expected to come up for hearing next month.
As per current rules, the guards outside cineplexes check the bags of moviegoers and if they find any eatable, they ask the person to dispose them before allowing them to enter the theatre. Many find this system odd and annoying but it is understandable from marketing perspective as cineplex owners want moviegoers to eat the stuff which is sold inside the theater itself. Moviegoers resent it as the food is generally expensive and they say they would rather bring their own food.