Companies

Silver lining: Multiplex chains make a slow but optimistic start

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

Back to ‘reel’ life: As multiplex chains reopen, the focus will be on ensuring the safety of patrons and employees

Multiplex chains are making a slow but optimistic start as 14 States and UTs have given nod to reopen doors after nearly seven months of lockdown. States such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telanagana and Punjab have not yet allowed multiplexes to open.

New releases

Also, while some new content in English and regional languages have hit the screens, new Hindi movies are expected to be released from early next month.

Sanjeev Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd, said the company will begin screening movies from Friday, and expects 30 per cent of its screens to be operational, in line with permissions from various State governments.

“As we reopen slowly but steadily, our key focus will be on ensuring the safety of our consumers and employees. This is the much-needed beginning for the exhibition industry, which has been one of the hardest hit due to the pandemic. We are awaiting the nod from States such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, which are key markets for us. We are optimistic that as more States give permissions for cinemas to open and new content starts releasing in the coming weeks, we will begin to see an uptick in footfalls,” said Bijli.

Inox Leisure began the screening of movies across select multiplexes in 20 cities on Thursday. Alok Tandon, CEO, Inox Leisure, said: “We are certain that the SOPs prescribed by the I&B Ministry, clubbed with our technology-driven measures, will help us to welcome back our guests. We are also looking to innovate with various concepts, such as offering the option of private screening, where families and smaller groups of guests can book the entire auditorium and enjoy the content of their choice.”

Multiplex players also said they will be banking on pent-up demand for big-screen entertainment at a time when a large section of consumers are working from home.

Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas, BookMyShow, said: “It is rather early to comment on the ticketing trends, as we await production houses’ announcements on releases for the festival season, basis the opening up of key States such as Maharashtra and Telangana among others. While cinema screens across States that are opening up today are going live in a staggered manner, additions are being made by the minute as different cinemas take their screens live across various localities and cities in each State.”

Meanwhile, Kunal Sawhney, Senior Vice-President (Operations), Carnival Cinemas, said the company will begin screening movies in about 100 screens from Friday.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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