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Reliance Media's Big Cinema plans more screens

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Mr Anil Arjun, CEO, Reliance Media Works, and Mr. Kapil Agarwal, Joint MD, UFO Moviez India Ltd., at a press conference in Mumbai, to announc e a strategic business alliance
Mr Anil Arjun, CEO, Reliance Media Works, and Mr. Kapil Agarwal, Joint MD, UFO Moviez India Ltd., at a press conference in Mumbai, to announc e a strategic business alliance

Our Bureau

Mumbai, March 25

Reliance MediaWorks, an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company, plans to increase the number of screens under its multiplex chain Big Cinemas to 330 by the end of the next fiscal.

“At present we have 250 screens across 78 cities in India. We are planning to increase it to 330 by March 2011. Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore are some of the centres where the screens will be set up,” said Mr Anil Arjun, CEO of Reliance MediaWorks.

Reliance MediaWorks has a chain of 525 screens spread across India, Malaysia, Nepal and the Netherlands.

Mr Arjun was speaking at a press conference held to announce a strategic partnership with satellite-based digital cinema provider UFO Moviez. Under the tie-up, UFO Moviez would set up an encoding and encryption facility in the premises of Reliance MediaWorks.

After the movie print is digitalised, it will be transferred to satellite and beamed across theatres all over the country, said Mr Kapil Agarwal, Joint MD, UFO Moviez.

This will help theatres in far flung areas to show movies on the first day of the release and at the same time bring down costs, said Mr Agarwal.

UFO Moviez, which has a tie up with 1,800 screens, plans to increase the number of digital screens to around 2,500 by March 2011.

Digital screens

Using the technology provided by UFO Moviez, Reliance MediaWorks plans to increase the number of digital screens to 60 from 35 in the next six months.

When asked about the tussle with Inox Leisure Ltd to acquire a controlling stake in Famne India, Mr Arjun refused to comment.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 26, 2010)
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