Movie tickets are set to become costlier in Kerala from September 1 as the state government is bringing back the entertainment tax, which will be levied in addition to the GST.
Local bodies will now charge a 5 per cent entertainment tax on movie tickets priced up to ₹100 and 8.5 per cent on those above.
The government decided to reintroduce entertainment tax on movie tickets after the GST was reduced from 28% to 18% from January 1. Earlier, the local entertainment tax was scrapped as the GST rate was high.
“We are yet to begin the process of implementing price hike in theaters. In fact, we haven’t even got any written information from the court,” said Shaji Vishwanathan, owner of two theaters in Kollam.
He noted that the move will affect the film industry as people will have to shell out more to watch movies.
Shaji also pointed out that nowadays people are watching movies on their mobile phones.
Earlier, when the 28% GST was imposed, theatre owners had raised a protest and moved the Kerala High Court, which has now directed that the new taxes should not put extra burden on movie enthusiasts.
Also, from now on the film exhibitors need not get the seal of local bodies on the tickets and need to pay the local taxes on the tickets sold in a specific month.
From August 1, a flood cess of 1% has also been levied on movie tickets.
“All theaters have not increased prices today. We are waiting for 2 or 3 more days,” said an official from Jos theater, Thrissur.