No kidding! Movie theatres coming soon for children

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on September 07, 2016

PVR Playhouse; a movie theatre complete with bean bags, rubberised seats, customised 3D-glasses, a play area with slides and gourmet menu to entertain fidgety little adults.

PVR unveils playhouse; Cinepolis plans to bring Junior format next year

Children are no longer mute spectators for multiplex operators. With more Hollywood films belting box office hits, multiplex operators too are looking to woo younger audience with a space of their own.

Biggest multiplex operator PVR has introduced PVR Playhouse – a movie theatre complete with bean bags, rubberised seats, customised 3D-glasses, a play area with slides and gourmet menu of their own to entertain fidgety little adults. Mexican multiplex giant Cinepolis too is working to introduce its global format Cinepolis Junior by 2017 in India.

Take a look at the Hollywood calendar of film particularly aimed at children released earlier this year. These include one The Jungle Book (which collected a whopping ₹243 crore in the Indian market), The Angry Birds Movie, Kung Fu Panda 3, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pet’s, Zootopia were among others which were decent crowd pullers. Among the upcoming pipeline includes Storks, Moana and The Lego Batman.

Mexican multiplex chain Cinépolis India too said it is looking to bring its global format Cinépolis Junior to India.

“Hollywood is helping the exhibition business in India. India is a multilingual content player. Besides offering movies in various regional languages, we have also invested heavily in various technologies such as 4D and Imax,” Devang Sampat, Director – Strategic Initiatives, Cinépolis India, said.

Sampat said the company is also mulling to bring Cinépolis Junior to India. “We want to provide technology for all audience. Globally, we have experimented with the Junior format where parents can safely leave the children to watch movies relevant to them. Currently, there are not much options in India for parents. We are looking to launch by next year,” Sampat said. He said Cinepolis Junior will have about 200-300 seats in the format.

A huge catalyst

PVR CEO Gautam Dutta opines that children act as a huge catalyst in coming for a show. “Just as adults children too are inspired by stars. The idea of setting up Playhouse was to let children enjoy in their own space.” Dutta says that the company had started work on Playhouse at least a year and half before the actual launch seeking opinion from young adults on their wants and needs in the theatre.

The company plans to open at least 15 by next year. “Any of our multiplexes which has nine screens will get a Playhouse. We plan to roll out three more soon,” he said. A typical Playhouse format will have about 50-80 seats.

Ticket prices

Asked if the tickets will be priced at a premium, Dutta said the ticket prices will be marginally higher. “Our occupancy is at least 70 per cent in the format in Noida,” he said, adding that the company will be bringing out a Playhouse 2.0 version, an improved version of the kids format where the company plans to monetise non-peak hours by renting out space for birthday parties etc.

“Of the total 70-80 Hollywood films released in a year, content appropriate for children including animation stands at about 10-15 films a year. The Hollywood offering are growing in the domestic market and translates into revenue for multiplex operators particularly in F&B segment,” says film critic Amod Mehra.

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Published on September 07, 2016
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