Food trays greet patrons at Mumbai movie theatre toilet!

Jul 25, 2015, 06:55 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

Two moviegoers discovered trays used to serve snacks and beverages to movie viewers were stacked next to a commode in the toilet at Cinemax in Ghatkopar's R Odeon Mall

Two friends who went to watch a movie at a Ghatkopar multiplex had no idea what a horror show they were in for.

Pranita Semwal (left) and Komal Upadhyay filed a complaint with the theatre management after they spotted food trays
Pranita Semwal (left) and Komal Upadhyay filed a complaint with the theatre management after they spotted food trays

In what was an obvious breach of hygiene norms, the duo spotted food trays stacked up in the toilet, right next to the commode. But they were even more shocked to learn that the service trays had allegedly been washed right there, in the loo, and would later be used to serve patrons at the cinema.

stacked up in the toilet, right next to the commode. pics/Pradeep dhivar
Stacked up in the toilet, right next to the commode. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

On Wednesday evening, advocate Komal Upadhyay and her friend, Pranita Semwal, who works at an advertising agency, had gone to watch a film at the Cinemax theatre at R Odeon mall in Ghatkopar (East).

“We were enjoying the movie and decided to buy food from the counter during the interval. An hour into the film, I went to the washroom, where I noticed several food trays — more than a hundred — stacked on the floor. These are the same trays in which we are served nachos, fries and other snacks,” recalled Pranita.

She promptly took some photographs of the service trays and called her friend, Komal to the loo. Unsurpisingly, neither Pranita nor Komal had any interest in buying food at the theatre after this discovery. To their further dismay, when they asked a staffer what the trays were doing in the restroom, the employee told them the trays had been washed right there.

“It was very shocking; I felt like puking. These trays were kept just beside the commode. I was even more shocked when I learnt that they had been washed right there in the washroom and were to be used later,” said Komal.

Pranita added, “Even in your own home, you wouldn’t eat in plates kept inside the washroom. We pay so much for tickets and even the food items are costly, but look at their level of hygiene.”

The duo decided to file a complaint, but allege that the management did not take them seriously at first. “We called in the management, and initially they took us lightly, but we made sure to file a written complaint. Such things can cause food poisoning or other diseases; it can be very dangerous,” said Komal, who later received a visit at her office from multiplex officials who requested her to drop the issue.

“The officials even visited my office and told me it won’t happen in the future, and that I should not take this ahead. However, this is a matter of hygiene, so I wanted people to know about it,” she added, mentioning yet another incident that took place at the theatre last month, when she had complained about food being stored on the ground near the snacks counter.

Despite attempts to contact Cinemax Ghatkopar — run by PVR Cinemas — no one was available for comment. However, the theatre issued a written apology to both Komal and Pranita.

The apology

The duo later received an apology from the business head of the multiplex, Rohit Mhatre, who wrote, “I am apologising for the concern raised by you about the way we stored our food service tray and place (Handicapped washroom) where we stored. I am really very sorry and assure you that the same will not be repeated again. At the same time, things like food packages being stored on the floor will also not happen. They will be placed in proper drawers. I give you total assurance of the same. Next time, whenever you visit, you will not see any of these being repeated. I am sincerely saying sorry for the mistakes made by us. Please give us one chance to serve you better.”

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