• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Movie theatres have the power to prohibit moviegoers

ByJosh Taylor

Jan 4, 2023

The Supreme Court rules that movie theatres have the power to prohibit moviegoers from bringing outside food: ‘This is not a gym.’
The Supreme Court overturned a high court decision in Jammu and Kashmir ordering cinemas to allow patrons to bring outside food inside the theatres.
The Supreme Court of India has ruled that cinema owners have the right to determine their own terms and conditions for selling food inside theatres. The court was considering a slew of petitions brought by theatre owners and the Multiplex Association of India. They appealed a 2018 decision by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which held that multiplexes and theatres cannot prohibit patrons from bringing their own food and beverages inside the theatres.
According to ANI, a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said, “Suppose someone begins obtaining jalebis. Nobody should wipe their hands on the chairs, according to the owner.” It went on to say that the proprietors “may not want tandoori chicken brought in” and that no moviegoer was obliged to buy popcorn (and other food items being sold inside the cinema halls).
The court also stated that moviegoers had the option of not consuming the food and beverages supplied in theatres. “A cinema hall is the private property of the owner of such hall, and he is free to impose whatever terms and conditions as he considers suitable, provided that such terms and restrictions are not prejudicial to public interest or safety,” it stated.
According to CJI Chandrachud, “The proprietor of a movie theatre has the authority to control the admission of food and beverages. The decision to absorb what is presented is totally up to the moviegoer. Viewers go to halls to be entertained.”
The apex court stated that it is a business choice made by the theatre owner. “The cinema theatre is not a gym where you need to eat well. It is a location of recreation. It is privately held, thus it is up to the owner.”
According to a barandbench report, the bench further stated, “The High Court exceeded jurisdiction in granting such an order. It has been suggested to movie theatre owners that drinking water will be provided free of charge, and that when an infant accompanies a parent, hall owners do not object to a suitable amount of food for the newborn.”

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