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Cinepolis India Acquires Fun Cinemas Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis India confirmed that it has purchased Mumbai-based Fun Cinemas, part of the Essel Group. In a statement the company said this acquisition has helped increase its screen count to 193 screens across 41 multiplexes and 31 cities. It said this made it the third largest multiplex operator in the country. Fun Cinemas has a total of 83 screens across 24 countries. This is the first acquisition by Cinepolis in India since it started operations in 2009. Javier Sotomayor, Managing Director, CinĂŠpolis India, said, "We have a clear vision of being the leader in cinema exhibition in India and operate 400 screens by 2017. This acquisition is a step in that direction. Fun Cinemas is an established brand in India and has been around for more than 10 years. This would help us hit the ground running with the acquired properties."

PVR Denies Talks with SPI Cinemas Movie exhibition company PVR Ltd has denied news reports that it is likely to acquire the Chennaiheadquartered SPI Group that runs Sathyam Cinemas. In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, PVR said, "as part of its continuing business strategy to look for growth opportunities, the company is constantly on the look-out for, and in discussions with, potential partners in various capacities to further its business." The company is not aware of any negotiations or transactions with SPI Cinemas. According to industry sources, PVR is close to acquiring SPI Cinemas that runs more than 40 screens in Chennai and Coimbatore. SPI Cinemas plans

to add another 40-50 screens to its portfolio, and was weighing various options, including PE, to fund its expansion. Swaroop Reddy, Director, SPI Cinemas, said, "I do not want to comment on this now." Another leading player in the movie exhibition business said PVR is an asset-light company, and since Sathyam owns some of its screens, particularly the close to two-acre, sixscreen property near Anna Salai in Chennai, PVR may not be in a position to fund the buy on its own.

Five Movies Mixed in Auro 11.1 With the advent of the New Year, Auro 11.1 by Barco already has 16 films committed to be mixed in the Auro 11.1 immersive cinema sound format. For many movie lovers, it's also the perfect time of year to go see a movie. The five latest movies mixed in Auro 11.1 are Kaaviya Thalaivan, Chaar Sahibzaade, Aaah, Isai and Kappal.

Punjab Govt Bans Screening of Messenger of God Apprehending serious law and order problem in the State following the release of controversial film Messenger of God (MSG), Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that the screening of the movie

has been banned on the advisory of the Government of India. Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of the Sangat Darshan programme of Lambi Assembly segment in Muktsar district, the Chief Minister said that the reports of intelligence agencies of both the State and Centre governments had clearly said that the release of this movie could have led to serious repercussions in terms of law and order problem in the state. Reiterating the firm commitment of the state government to maintain peace and amity, he said that it was their onerous duty to sustain the hard earned peace in Punjab at every cost. "We have received advisory from the Central Government to ban this movie and thus the State government acted accordingly in the larger public interest," added Badal. The Punjab Government on January 17 had put a ban on the MSG featuring Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, in apprehension of breach of peace. High alerts have been sounded in Punjab and Haryana after protests were staged against the proposed release of the movie yesterday. Yesterday, political parties like SAD and INLD, and several Sikh outfits had taken to the streets in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi protesting against the controversial film. Similar protests were held at Haryana's Hissar and Sirsa, the headquarters of the Dera chief who has been at loggerheads with the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. The film, which was expected to hit theatres on Friday last, had been referred by the Censor Board to FCAT for clearance on January 12. FCAT has cleared it for screening. Controversy over the clearance deepened after the resignation of its Chairperson Leela Samson and several other members. January-February 2015

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Reliance Capital to Sell Multiplex Biz to Carnival for INR 700 crore Reliance Capital has agreed to sell the multiplex business of Reliance MediaWorks (RMW) to Carnival Cinemas for INR 700 crore, signalling further consolidation in the Indian cinema exhibition space.

markets coupled with higher number of releases each year, increased foreign film releases and improved quality production of regional films, this sector is expected to grow in double-digits in the coming years."

The deal, touted to be the largest merger and acquisition transaction among multiplex operators, will make Carnival Cinemas the country's third largest operator after PVR and INOX Leisure.

This deal marks a significant landmark in the cinema industry, which has been witnessing mergers and acquisitions, but at relatively smaller ticket sizes.

The deal excludes real estate owned by RMW at IMAX Wadala (Mumbai) and other properties, which will be separately monetised for about Rs.200 crore, RMW said in a media statement. "The proposed transaction is in furtherance of Reliance Capital's stated objective of focusing on its core financial services businesses, significantly reducing exposure to non-core investments in the media and entertainment sector, and reducing overall debt," said Sam Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer of the Anil Ambani group company. RMW currently operates a chain of 250 multiplexes under the 'Big Cinemas' brand. Whenever Carnival goes for a listing, Reliance Capital will retain an option to acquire a stake in pre-IPO stage "at an appropriate discount". With this deal, Carnival Cinemas will have 250 multiplexes. Shrikant Bhasi, Chairman of Carnival Group, said the company is targeting to achieve 1,000 screens by the year 2017. Mumbai-based Carnival has diversified business in hospitality, media, real estate, entertainment and multiplexes. Sumit Mahajan, Director, Walker Chandiok & Co, said: "Theatrical release window in India, as compared to certain overseas markets, is fairly high and a significant portion of movie revenues are driven by box office collections. With enhanced presence within the unpenetrated

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INOX-Satyam Cineplexes Deal Gets No-Objection from NSE The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has given clearance to the INR 182-crore merger of Gurgaon-based Satyam Cineplexes Ltd with multiplex chain INOX Leisure. The 'no-objection' from the exchange would allow the two companies to file their scheme of amalgamation with the High Court for further clearance of the deal. Under the deal, Mumbai-based exhibitor will acquire 100% equity share capital of Satyam from its promoters for a total consideration of INR 182 crore. The merger will strengthen INOX Leisure presence in North India. In a communication to INOX Leisure, NSE last month said that it is granting its 'no-objection approval' to the proposed scheme and this observation letter would be valid for six months, within which period the companies would have to file the scheme with the High Court for further clearance. The exchange has noted the confirmation given by the company stating that the scheme does not violate or over-ride or circumscribe the provisions of various regulatory norms. "Accordingly, we do hereby convey our 'no-objection' with limited

reference to those matters having a bearing on listing/ delisting/ continuous listing requirements within the provisions of the Listing Agreement, so as to enable the Companies to file the Scheme with High Court," NSE said. According to norms, companies seeking to execute merger or demerger strategies need to obtain a 'no-objection certificate' from stock exchanges. Post acquisition, INOX would be present in 50 cities with 91 multiplexes and 358 screens. The company is catching up with market leader PVR Cinemas, which has 400 screens across the country. This is the third acquisition of INOX in last seven years. Earlier it had acquired Kolkata's Calcutta Cine Pvt Ltd and Fame India Ltd.

Carnival Cinemas Aims to Become Second Largest Multiplex Continuing with its high growth trajectory, Carnival is planning to invest INR 500 crore for setting up about 200 screens in Madhya Pradesh. The state of Madhya Pradesh has 70 multiplex screens, including those owned by PVR, Fun Cinemas, Carnival and Big Cinemas. Carnival started with three screens in 2010 and now aims to become the second largest multiplex chain by the end of FY15 through serial acquisitions. After its latest acquisition of Stargaze Entertainment from Network18 Media, the company now owns 330 screens. The company also has 75 ready-to-operate screens that will be launched in a month. Carnival recently acquired Anil Ambani's Big Cinemas, which runs 252 screens, for INR 700 crore. In January 2014, Carnival added 30 screens with its first acquisition of HDIL Broadway for INR 110 crore.


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Inox Comes to Bhilwara! INOX Leisure launches its multiplex at City Center Mall, Bhilwara, Rajasthan, thus bringing the world-class cinema experience to a culturally-rich city.

Multiplex culture is happening in a big way in Rajasthan. After revolutionising the way the state of Rajasthan watches movies, INOX Leisure Ltd takes the INOX experience further with the launch of its multiplex at City Center Mall in Bhilwara by its wholly-owned subsidiary Satyam Cineplexes Ltd. INOX, the pioneer of the multiplex culture in the state of Rajasthan now has 9 multiplexes (a total of 28 screens) in Rajasthan, including 5 in Jaipur, and 1 each in Udaipur, Jodhpur and Kota. Nationally, INOX has 94 multiplexes and 365 screens in 51 cities. INOX at City Center Mall, Bhilwara is now open to guests with 3 screens and 664 seats. Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure Ltd. says, "We take pride to be at the forefront of the multiplex revolution in Rajasthan. The people of Rajasthan are true connoisseurs of cinema and with their continued patronage, we are confident to offer the best of INOX hospitality with convenient location, easy accessibility, state-ofthe-art facilities and high-end technology. INOX at City Centre

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Mall is our New Year's gift to Bhilwara," he adds. The movies showcased at INOX Bhilwara in the opening week are PK (Hindi) and Tevar (Hindi). INOX will offer a mix of Hindi, English and other regional movies, all under one roof. As with all INOX multiplexes, luxury is the cornerstone at Bhilwara. Plush state-of-the-art seats with ample leg space, lush carpeting in the auditoriums, a spacious lobby; all

backed by world class hospitality, makes it a never-seen-before movie experience. Once at the cinema, the customer experience is further enhanced at 'Refuel' the in-house brand of theatre food, which serves an extended menu of flavoured popcorn, snacks, beverages and a variety of combo meals.


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New Theatre

Goes the Dolby Way One of the oldest theatres in Thiruvananthapuram, New Theatre by City Theatres (P) Ltd is installed with Dolby Atmos as it gets converted from single screen into three screens. The audience will now get to experience the film as if they are part of it.

New Theatre, one of the oldest and most esteemed theatres situated in Thiruvananthapuram goes the Dolby way! A favourite with the moviegoers of the city, New Theatre became the first and the only theatre in the city to have installed Dolby Atmos. "New Theatre was renovated last year, converting the single screen theatre into three screens. Each screen has been given a different colour concept. Screen 1 (Dolby ATMOS CP850 - 44 CH), with 545 seats, is given a red theme. Screen 2

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(Dolby ATMOS CP850 - 34 CH), with 200 seats, is given a purple theme. And Screen 3 (Dolby 7.1 with CP750), with 178 seats, is given a blue theme. Two of its three screens are installed with Dolby Atmos and the third

screen is installed with Dolby 7.1. All the three screens are equipped with 2K projection. New Theatre also has the widest parking space in the city," informs S Murugan, Managing Director, The City Theatre (P) Ltd. Mr Murugan is the son of the wellknown Malayalam filmmaker P Subramaniam, who founded The City Theatre (P) Ltd. Unlike the traditional channel-based sound systems, Dolby Atmos allows you to simply designate where each sound should be placed or moved in the cinema space. The audiences


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experience the film as if they were within its world! Acknowledging the difference that Dolby Atmos brings, Mr Murugan elaborates, "Dolby Atmos creates a 3D environment for audio, where the audience doesn't just listen to the sound but they feel the environment, experiencing every tiny detail. For example, when a shot of rain and thunder is played, the audience is transported to another world where they feel each tiny droplets of rain falling on them. The audience definitely feels there is a drastic difference in the experience. Since the time we have installed Dolby Atmos, we have been getting extremely positive responses from the audience and they keep requesting us in our social networking page to release all the big movies in our screens. And we get the first priority from the distributors to screen their movies in our theatre."

S Murugan, Managing Director, The City Theatre (P) Ltd, receiving the Best Theatre - Technical Award from P Sathasivam, Governor of Kerala at the International Film Festival Kerala (IFFK 2014). Cinetekk, the long-time advisors, Also present on the occasion are Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Minister for Forest, Environment, Transport, Sports & Cinema and KC Joseph, Minister for Rural Development, Planning, Culture & NORKA associates and suppliers of sound

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• INDIA PLEXING • systems to City Theatres (P) Ltd, has played a key role in professionally installing the speaker systems of Dolby Atmos. A pioneer in installing digital sound in most of the theatres in India since 1990's, Cinetekk has been associated with New Theatre right from 1996. The company installed digital sound system Dolby CP500, DTS with JBL speakers and amplifiers. The company has been carrying out the maintenance right from the day of installation until renovation of New Theatre into three screens. City Theatres (P) Ltd was founded by P Subramaniam - the filmmaker who made his presence felt in the Malayalam film industry and produced more than 75 films in various languages. His first venture, New Theatre was established on March 14, 1936 and was later rebuilt in 1967 with 70mm projection and TODD AO sound system. Sree Kumar Theatre was set up on March 14, 1948 and Merryland Studio on December 12, 1951. New Theatre holds the distinction of being awarded the Best Theatre - Technical at the 19th International Film Festival of Kerala. The multiplex culture seems to be catching the imagination of Kerala in a big way. The exhibitors are converting the single screen theatres into two or three screens to accommodate the films for wider release. Kerala has an audience for Malayalam, Tamil, English, Hindi and dubbed Telugu movies. Major renovations are planned ahead, along with Dolby Atmos installation, in other two theatres as well reveals Mr Murugan. "We are planning the renovation of Sree Kumar Theatre and Sree Visakh Theatre until July-August this year and will start our work shortly. Since we have already set the standards high with the renovation of New Theatre, there are higher expectations from Sree Kumar and Sree Visakh theatres. We will ensure that we renovate the theatres with the best of technology and comfort so that the audience have a delightful cinematic experience." January-February 2015

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• INDIA PLEXING •

PVR Cinemas

Strengthening Presence in Madhya Pradesh & Punjab At the forefront of the cinema exhibition business, PVR Cinemas launched its first 3-screen multiplex in the heart of the city at Gulmohar, Bhopal and opened its 5-screen multiplex in Jalandhar. With these launches, PVR's total screen count rises to 462, across 44 cities at 104 properties in India.

First 3-Screen Multiplex in Bhopal

The city of Bhopal houses various institutions and installations of national importance. And now it has a new distinction in the world of cinema. PVR Cinemas, the most premium retail entertainment company operating the largest multiplex chain in India, announced the launch of its first 3-screen multiplex in the heart of the city at Gulmohar, Bhopal. The company, a leading cinema exhibition chain, now stands at a screen count of 457 across 44 cities in 103 properties pan India. With the success of PVR's two properties in Madhya Pradesh (Ujjain and Indore), this will be PVR's third property in the region spreading across an area of 33,541 sq ft. With this launch, the multiplex chain strengthens its presence in the state with 11 screens.

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"We are excited to kick off 2015 by bringing the PVR experience to Bhopal." said Mr Gautam Dutta, CEO PVR Ltd. "Our competitive edge comes from the way we design our properties by prioritizing each granular detail and vibrancy to provide for a state of the art multiplex. PVR has brought a platform for the new revolution in the Indian cinema exhibition by bringing diversity, not only in cinemas and F&B offerings but also in providing niche content. As we make our debut in the city, we promise to bring the best global practices to the multiplex and look forward to an over whelming response from our patrons." The group has invested in providing amenities that further enhance the movie going experience with new

state-of-the-art multiplex featuring comfort and luxury. Opened at a prime location in Bhopal, the multiplex promises to bring lavish seating accommodation along with quality content with a mix of Hindi, English and regional films. Mr Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd says, "As we envision excelling in our domain, we are pleased to bring to the people of Bhopal a premier experience. We are delighted to work in association with our mall developers, Sandhya Prakash Limited, who have provided us with a central location that promises to cater to a wide spectrum of audience. We aim at redefining cinema viewing as we make our entry into the Bhopal market."


• INDIA PLEXING • Second Property in Jalandhar PVR Cinemas moved a step closer towards its mission of having 1000 screens by 2018, by launching its new property in Jalandhar, Punjab. With the opening of the 5-screen multiplex in this region, PVR stands as the undisputed leader in Punjab. Across a total of eight properties, PVR now has 47 screens in the cities of Ludhiana (17), Jalandhar (9), Mohali (9) and Chandigarh (Union territory) (12) Mr Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd says, "Our ability to reinvent, to innovate and to challenge ourselves is a testimony to the exponential expansion across India. Growth is paramount to any business and as we expand further, we are delighted to launch our second property in the city. PVR Cinemas is very appreciative of our loyal patrons in Jalandhar who have been the reason for us to continue to expand here and to bring to our customers the best by redefining cinema viewing. We look forward to an equally overwhelming response from the people for this property."

Realizing the potential of the Jalandhar market, PVR has left no stone unturned to offer the best of ambience, décor and technology to its patrons with an impeccable multiplex space, product and service. With this launch, PVR's total screen count rises to 462 across 44 cities at 104 properties in India. At the launch, Mr Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd said, "As we aim to excel in our domain by providing movie connoisseurs with a premier experience, we feel overwhelmed launching our second property in Jalandhar. We would like to thank

the mall developers, Curo India Pvt. for giving us the perfect location to cater to a wide spectrum of audience. PVR takes pride in being undisputed leader in the state of Punjab as we continue to bring to the people the best global practices in the multiplex business. " The newly-launched cinemas in Bhopal and Jalandhar has a distinct design and is equipped with an exceptional digital movie experience (4K digital projections at Jalandhar), 7.1 channel sound and is 3D enabled with large screens, comfortable seating and a wide range of food and beverages.


• INDIA PLEXING •

God’s Own Country Roaring with Auro 11.1 Sapna Theatre in Thrissur, Kerala has entered a new cinematic era with Auro 11.1 by Barco immersive cinema sound. The audience is awestruck with this fully immersive sound sensation.

The Frontrunners Ever since its inception, Sapna Theatre has always been open to new opportunities to expand its business. The company’s vision and mission: bringing innovative products and services to the people of Kerala.

Movie Experience The screen at Sapna Theatre has recently been fitted with a brand new Auro 11.1 by Barco systems. Introducing a three-layered sound overhead, height and ear-level, this technology manages to draw the audience into the story told on screen, more than ever before. As both producers and theatres embrace innovative audio technology such as the Auro 11.1 sound format, spectators all over India are rejoicing in a new and immersive cinematic experience. Mr Mohan Paul, Managing Director of Sapna Theatre, says “We are very proud that our new Sapna Theatre will feature the Auro 11.1 sound technology. We are convinced this ground-breaking and award winning sound format will make each show at the movies an unforgettable one for our customers.”

Lasting Partnerships Kattukkaran Mohan Paul and his son Kattukkaran Paul Mohan, while exploring the viability of mounting

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the aesthetic sensibility by exploring the most modern technologies in the scenario of film exhibition, chose Auro 11.1 for the new Sapna theatre. They turned to Baburaj - Sound Engineer for technical support. Baburaj has a long-standing relationship with Barco as a system integrator. Baburaj, with a series of similar installations already under his belt (including installs of Muthoot Mini group & EVM group), worked together as a team with Mr Giri of GM Audio and Pro VA. This

proved to be a great help in completing the installation on time and within budget. As a result, Kerala’s film aficionados were in for a treat with this technology.

Historical Background It was the forefathers of Kattukkaran Mohan Paul, the Proprietor of Jos and Sapna Theatres in Thrissur, who introduced the exhibition of cinema for the first time in Kerala. The contribution of luminaries such as Kattukkaran Varunny Joseph, Kattukkaran Joseph Devassy and Kattukkaran Devassy Paul to the Kerala film industry is immense. The last four generations of Kattukkaran family has made an illustrious contribution to the Kerala cinema industry. Acknowledging this contribution, the Government of Kerala honoured the living legend of Kerala film industry, Kattukkaran Devassy Paul in 1996 with an award, reckoning the meritorious service extended by him in the field of cinema.

In 1908, Kattukkaran Varunny Joseph, under the banner of ‘Jos Bioscope’ lighted the inception of first film exhibition in a temporary shed at Thekkinkadu Maidhan at Thrissur. Those were the days when films were exhibited manually by turning the lever of the machine by hand, as there was no electricity. It was in 1936 that Jos Theatre, the first talkies in Kerala, started functioning under the proprietorship of Kattukkaran Joseph Devassy. Almost at the same time, a theatre called Rama Varma also started showing films. In 1976, the proprietor of the Jos Theatre Sri Kattukkaran Devassy Paul took over the theatre and in 1978, it was renamed as Sapna Theatre. The theatre is located in the eastern side of the Royal Avenue called Swaraj Round. Here came another feather in the crown of the cultural capital of Kerala!


• INDIA PLEXING • Siri Fort Auditorium

Among Top 50 Auditoriums for Cinema Viewing in India! Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, recently inaugurated the 8-day long Indian Panorama Film Festival, which screened 26 feature films and 15 non- feature films at Siri Fort Auditorium. The Auditorium Complex has undergone a complete makeover with the installation of state-of-the-art equipment. The upgraded projection and sound facilities at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi have positioned the venue amongst the top 50 auditoriums within the country that screened films for public viewing, said Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting. The renovated infrastructure reiterated the vision of the I&B Ministry to establish world class viewing facilities for screening films that incorporated technical brilliance in totality. The Siri Fort auditorium had set high standards which were normally found in the corporate domain. The digital projection and Dolby sound system would enable cinema lovers to enjoy a memorable viewing of movies. The Minister stated this while inaugurating the Indian Panaroma film festival and the renovated facilities at the Siri Fort auditorium complex. Speaking further, the Minister mentioned that the Films representing the Indian Panaroma section had a profound impact on the different International Film Festivals abroad. The effort would now focus on mainstreaming the impact of Indian Culture through the medium of Cinema. The Ministry was keen on organising film festivals as films are carriers of culture, tradition and values. Indian films had been a soft medium to reach out to a global audience. More film festivals would be organised in the future and at the same time, there would be enhanced participation in the film festivals abroad. Also speaking on the occasion, Secretary I&B, Bimal Julka said that the Indian Panaroma showcased high quality films abroad. The Panaroma section reiterated the power of Indian regional cinema. Films were the appropriate medium to celebrate India’s unity and diversity. The renovated facilities at Siri Fort had been done keeping in mind the needs of good viewing for cinema lovers.

The Siri Fort Auditorium has lately gone through a complete make-over with stateof-the-art equipment being installed in the complex. In the Plan Scheme 2013-2017, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has made these efforts to modernise the Projection and Sound System of all the Four Auditoriums here. In Audi 1 & 2, highend Digital Cinema Projectors of 4K resolution have been installed, while other two small auditoriums (Audi 3 & 4) now have the latest Digital Cinema Projectors of 2K resolution. Besides projection system, cinema sound and PA systems have also been upgraded. The Ministry has spent nearly INR5 crore to make this prestigious Auditorium Complex of International standards. Audi 2 is now equipped with the best digital cinema projection technology along with Silver Screen, 3-D Projection System and Dolby Atmos Sound System. Dolby Atmos is considered to be the best sound effects presently available in the globe and only a few theatres in India have this sound system. Besides, Siri Fort Complex has preserved the traditional 35 mm and 16 mm analogue projection to enjoy the old classics of Indian Cinema which are available in analogue format only. It makes the Complex equipped to project films in both digital and analogue formats. Besides technical upgradation, the security arrangements, auditorium roofs and sanitary fittings have also gone through re-modulling. Aesthetical upgradation of Auditorium-II has been done by providing new chairs, carpet and projection friendly look. Organised by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Festival screened 26 Feature Films and 15 Non-Feature Films. The Opening Film of the Festival was Gour Hari Dastaan The Freedom File directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan. January-February 2015

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• SPECIAL FEATURE •

Sri Renukamba Preview Theatre

At the Forefront with the Latest Technology Celebrating the silver jubilee of Sri Renukamba film unit on the occasion of Sankranti festival, Kumar Bangarappa, actor-politician and founder manager of Sri Renukamba Preview Theatre inaugurated the new avatar at Malleswaram, Bengaluru. With GDC Technology being its technology partner, this is the first time the technology is being launched in full swing in India though GDC Technology has been managing several theatres across India. TheatreWorld takes a sneak preview of the preview theatre and talks to the man himself.

Renewed Preview Theatre Kumar Bangarappa, a well-known name in the film and political circles of Karnataka, needs no introduction. Son of the seasoned Indian politician S Bangarappa, former chief minister of the state, Kumar Bangarappa has played lead roles in several Kannada movies and was the minister in SM Krishna cabinet in the past. Dynamic

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and enterprising, he also nurtures passion for film exhibition and technology. This is where Sri Renukamba film unit comes in. Celebrating its silver jubilee on the occasion of Sankranti festival, Kumar Bangarappa, inaugurated its new avatar - Sri Renukamba Preview Theater at Malleswaram. Mr Bangarappa is the founder manager of this renewed Preview Theater.

Kumar Bangarappa


• SPECIAL FEATURE • Dubbed as India's first professional private preview theatre, Sri Renukamba can play 2K content and 3D with cutting edge sound effects. GDC Technology is the technology partner of Sri Renukamba. GDC Technology itself has installed the state-of-the art technology at the preview theatre. This is the first time the technology is being launched in full swing in India though GDC Technology has been managing other theatres throughout the country. The preview theatre is equipped with 2K digital projection system and silver screen, which enable reproduce the kind of quality visuals and sound, which are, in fact, mandatory for the film to go through the process of censorship. Movies made in cities that do not have a regional office of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) or need to be reviewed in a different state owing to sensitivities and controversies involved are reviewed here. Movies being dubbed also have to go through censorship and are reviewed at the theatre. In this age and times of high-end big brand multiplexes, how does a private preview theatre stand a chance of success? Well, the answer perhaps lies in the question itself. The fact that Sri Renukamba Preview Theater offers privacy and exclusivity is its USP in the first place. "I don't

see them as competitors. Unless you book the place very well in advance, the previews at any of the public theatres and multiplexes can be done only after regular show timings. Moreover, the celebrities cannot go there due to security concerns. And above all, the overheads are very high because they run on ticket basis; they have entertainment and other taxes to pay. We run on private and professional lines. And

Actor-turned-politician Ambarish with his wife Suma Latha inaugurating the theatre

Kumar Bangarappa with Sachin Shetty, Country Head of GDC Technology

we are lined up with our own editing suites here. Our taxes are lower. Moreover, there is complete privacy here. You can call and book us and enter any time of the day," says Mr Bangarappa. Talking of services and maintenance of the theatre, one can rest assured of the best. The place is spick and span clean. The goggles for 3D are sterilised after use and the head rests are changed after every show. "We have put up big screens and shall soon start playing world and Indian cinemas so that people from the film world have a more meaningful cinematic interaction in between work," informs Mr Bangarappa.

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• SPECIAL FEATURE • Coming a Long Way The first one to install sound-proof generators in South India and among the first ones to have a new Arriflex 4 camera, Sri Renukamba has always been at the forefront of film technology in Karnataka. The Preview Theater is a world-class facility for film previews (private previews), audio launches and corporate events. Sri Renukamba film unit made its humble beginning in 1985-86 in a tiny shed in Gandhi Nagar, opposite Maurya Hotel. From then on there was no looking back. With full-fledged film production and distribution, it had several theatres under its hold around Karnataka. But as time went by, politics became the priority for the Bangarappas. When his brother floated his own business Akash Audios and parted ways, Kumar Bangarappa went on to renovate the old building and named the business after his son Arjuna Arts. Having an emotional connect with his hometown Soraba, he however retains the Group name 'Sri Renukamba'. The idea of an exclusive preview theatre in Bangalore struck Kumar Bangarappa way back in 90's. "We had to literally wait on footpaths outside preview theatres in Chennai because the Kannada films were slotted only after Tamil and Telugu films, at midnight or so," says Kumar Bangarappa. It was then that he deciding of having an exclusive preview theatre for Kannada films.

The Man Behind A child artiste, Kumar Bangarappa was awestruck by the cine world of cameras and lights when he happened to catch more than a glimpse of the shooting of MS Sathyu's Kanneshwara Rama, starring Anant Nag and Shabana Azmi, in Shimoga. When the Kannada film legend Rajkumar became a family friend of theirs, Kumar Bangarappa gathered courage one fine day to request the superstar to give him a chance to give a candid shot along with the genius. Rajkumar

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The Technology Provider The projection booth systems were setup and equipped by GDC Technology. GDC Technology had used Barco DP2K-10S projector with its SX-3000 Standalone Integrated Media Block and Enterprise Storage system along with the Espedeo PM-1900 Polarized 3D system and Etoniq Silver Screen inside the auditorium. "We feel honored that Renukamba Theatre has chosen GDC Technology to roll out its cinema equipment. It is the first time ever for GDC Technology to deploy a truly total solution, including IMB, storage, projector, 3D system and silver screen, in one single theatre. We are determined to help keep Renukamba Theatre on the leading edge of cinema technology in the local market." – Sachin Shetty, Country Head of GDC Technology India Pvt. Ltd.

GDC Technology’s Reksten Aranha and Basavaraj Gandudi Engineering the Projection System

declined his request only to make him a star! It was under the aegis of the legend that Mr Bangarappa went on to take his professional training from Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu. It was only then that he got his first commercial film as a lead actor in Vijayotsava, produced under the Rajkumar banner. Kumar Bangarappa is one of few people in the film industry who's got a hand-on with the technology of film exhibition. His learning curve began at the Chamundeshwari Studio and the professional career shot to fame with Prasad Studios, where the actor bagged a lead role in the first Kannada 70 mm movie Sharavegada Saradara.

In Hindsight Taking a retrospective look, Mr Bangarappa takes pride in having been a part of the golden film era of Chennai, when the city was the hub of South Indian cinema industry. He recollects the times when all the big banner films in Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam were made in Chennai. In fact, many of the Hindi film legends such as Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Jitendra, who worked with a couple of

Southern directors, could be seen in Chennai. After the divergence of southern film industry, the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Kerala suffered immensely on the cinema front, in his opinion. The actor personally prefers reunion of the South Indian film industry again so as to reduce the costs and increase the amalgamation of ideas.

The Way Ahead The cinema exhibition industry in the country has a vast potential and Mr Bangarappa deems the role of film producers to be very important. "Our producers should know the technology better. They should understand the film exhibition scenario better and should know what can be given to the project. The producer is the bread and butter for the industry. I personally feel the producer should be well-versed with the technical aspects of cinema," he says. In the pipeline from Sri Renukamba is their lineup of in-house productions. Yes, they are planning to get into production again! And coming up, perhaps in North Bangalore, is a giant screen in partnership with GDC Technology, which they plan to launch in about a year or so.


• SPECIAL FEATURE •

PK - On A High Despite

Controversies With every successive magnum opus, Rajkumar Hirani has proved that a critically-acclaimed film can also make for a box-office hit. His latest satirical comedy-drama PK, a heady mix of thought-provoking entertainment, goes on to become the highest-grossing Indian film ever despite evoking a bagful of controversies. The most awaited and eventually the most controversial movie of 2014 - PK - emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time! Directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani, PK is a satirical comedy-drama starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles, and Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani and Sanjay Dutt as supporting cast. Released on December 19, 2014, the film apparently evoked the highest number of controversies when compared with any other film in the same league.

The Story The film begins with the opening shot of PK (Aamir Khan), an alien who lands on Earth (in the desert of Rajasthan), in search of God. Arriving stark naked (that's how they live on their planet), PK has a tough start on Earth as the remote tracking device chained around his neck - the one used for sending signals back to his spaceship - is stolen by a local man who mistakes it for a precious jewel.

PK must now find his remote control so he can contact his spaceship. And until then, he is left stranded on Earth to fend for himself. Oblivious to the human ways of life on Earth - mannerisms, languages and life in general PK is in for many a trouble. The existence of several castes, religions, languages and practices intrigue him. Destiny brings him in touch with Bhairav Singh (Sanjay Dutt), who becomes his dear friend and guide. PK eventually lands in the city of Delhi in search of his remote control. Here begins a whirlwind story of a stranger in an unknown city. He meets Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma), who helps him in his journey. His innocent questions, challenging some of the long-held notions and rituals, are thought provoking and meaningful.

Sterling Performances As for the performances, Aamir Khan excels in the title role. His childlike innocence, his Bhojpuri accent and his love for paan become an inherent

character of the film. Anushka Sharma, who has earned quite a bit of critical acclaim in her earlier films, has done a good job as Jagat "Jaggu" Janani, standing shoulder to shoulder with Aamir Khan through the entire film! Sushant Singh Rajput, as the Pakistani lover of Jaggu, is quite impressive in an extended cameo. Saurabh Shukla and Boman Irani were brilliant, although they deserved meatier roles. Sanjay Dutt, carries off his supporting role, as a Rajasthani man, with panache.

Myriad Controversies Team PK faced a storm of controversies right from the day the poster was released until the day of film release and thereafter. Controversy #1 - The nude PK The introductory poster released as a teaser weeks before the release of the film, featured a "nude" PK (Aamir Khan) with only a radio box to cover his manhood. This was dubbed obscene and against the Indian values.

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• SPECIAL FEATURE • Controversy #2 - The film promotes love-jihad In the film, Anushka Sharma (Indian) falls in love with Sushant Singh Rajput (Pakistani). Their on-screen relationship and a lip-lock was seen by many as offending religious sentiments and promoting lovejihad! Controversy #3 - Hurting religious sentiments The film questioned the role of God's messengers and suggests feeding the poor and needy instead of donating money in temples. The makers of the film were accused by certain sections of the society of being insensitive towards religion and portraying it in a wrong light. Controversy #4 - Offering Rs. 8 crore to Oh! My God (OMG) Reportedly, Aamir Khan and his team had offered Umesh Shukla - the maker of OMG - a whopping Rs. 8 crore to stall the shooting of the film, since the plot and storyline of OMG was similar to that of PK. Aamir, however, rubbished this report as rumour. Controversy #5 - Baba Ramdev and VHP's take on the film Both Baba Ramdev and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) supported the ban on PK stating that the film mocks at Hindu gods and goddesses and thus hurts the religious sentiments of a section of society. They insisted that the film must be banned and the censor board must act more sensibly when judging such storylines. Controversy #6 - Who financed PK?! According to Subramanian Swamy, who is a politician, economist and a former cabinet minister, the financers of the film are traced to Dubai and ISI. This piece of news, however, waits to see the light of the day. Controversy #7 - All about Hinduism, none about Islam Baba Ramdev also takes objection to PK stating that the film ill-speaks only about Hinduism and its practices,

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while keeping mum on Islam. In his words, "People think a 100 times while talking against Islam. However, when it comes to Hinduism anyone gets up and says anything; this is shameful." Controversy #8 - Exorbitant ticket price When compared to any other boxoffice hit, PK's tickets were priced exorbitantly high. It is ironical that while on one hand, the filmmakers had applied to make PK tax free, on the other hand, the ticket rates soared high.

In the Aftermath of Controversies •

Stating that the film hurts religious sentiments of Hindus, many theatre owners chose not to screen PK, thus supporting the ban on the film.

Several Hindu organisations attacked cinema halls screening the film.

Activists burnt/damaged posters and attacked ticket counters at cinema halls in protest and demanded that theatres ban all shows of PK.

The various controversies, the ban, and the subsequent hooliganism caused damage and loss not only to the filmmakers but also to the theatre owners at large. In addition to the breakage and damage of cinema halls, ticket counters and other internal and external wreckage, owners were also at a loss of revenue. The film was not banned since Supreme Court rejected the plea to ban PK. In fact, several Bollywood celebrities showed solidarity in supporting team PK, propagating that the film did not hurt anybody's religious sentiments, and that such negations must only be ignored. PK's gross-earnings, especially in the first three days, surpassed the earnings of Happy New Year and Kick. It went on to become the 'most-earned' movie in the history of Hindi cinema. The cinema hall owners who gave into pressure tactics of activists and volunteers, claiming to be the custodians of religion and culture, paid a heavy price as they suffered major revenue losses. The ones who chose not to screen the film clearly got the short end of the stick!


• BUSINESS TREND •

Harvard Business School To Study

PVR's Business Model PVR Ltd becomes the select FIELD Global Partners for Harvard Business School. A team of six students from varied backgrounds and industry expertise would analyse PVR's current model and present their final recommendations to the management. PVR, one of India's largest multiplex chains, is now among the select FIELD Global Partners for Harvard Business School in India. The students of Harvard Business School will do a study on PVR's business model and develop a case study on "Developing a new luxury cinema experience for families in New Delhi". A team of six students from varied backgrounds and industry expertise would analyse PVR's current model and present their final recommendations to the management. PVR Ltd is one of 156 FIELD Global Partners of Harvard Business School spanning across 13 countries around the world. This programme was spread across a span of eight days from the 5 12 January, 2015 as part of a required first-year course at Harvard Business School called FIELD, which stands for Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development. With globalisation and a shrinking world, PVR believes that innovative ideas are the key to any progressive business model. As a global partner, PVR is providing these students a real-world learning experience to expand their expertise on-ground while testing their ideas with local customers. In this duration, PVR shall ensure on-site orientations, assist the team in conducting field research with consumers around the city and the students shall share a final presentation of the study findings to the senior leadership.

comprehensive business strategy to multiply the revenue along with the limitations and challenges faced by the retail entertainment industry. Students will be encouraged to also suggest synergistic revenue models that can be sustained and scaled.

from our company and learning from them simultaneously. The students are very bright and are open to learn as well as present innovative ideas/concepts for our business. We believe that PVR will prove to be a wonderful case study for the students to understand the dynamics of India and its audience. We look forward to incorporating their ideas into our frame work."

Professor Tony Mayo, the faculty head of FIELD, acknowledges that this thorough on-ground learning would not been possible without the support from PVR, among their Global Partners. "We are extremely delighted to work with PVR and hope that they are as excited as our students are. The students will benefit immeasurably from this experience and we hope the partner organisations do as well."

PVR would specifically focus on its two current challenges Expansion and Experience along with its Revenue Model. The company is expanding rapidly and has future plans of reaching the 1000 screens milestone by or before the year 2018. This is an ambition the management has to manage with the existing team. PVR would look forward from the students to share the best US practices adopted by the companies that have brought in innovation on team, expansion and consumer management through quality and experience. Also, PVR would look forward to a

For the eight-day programme, FIELD had three modules that run through the entire first year of the two- year MBA program. The first module focussed on developing individual leadership skills through team feedback and self-reflection. The second focussed on developing global intelligence by immersing them in a foreign country to develop a new product or service in country for their Global Partner organisation. The final module brought all the lessons together by challenging students to develop and launch their own micro-business as part of a small team back in Boston.

Being an alumnus of Harvard himself, Mr Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd, says, "It feels great to be associated with such a prestigious name as Harvard Business School. The entire programme is a two-way process for students as well as for us while the know-how of the processes comes January-February 2015

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• BUSINESS TREND •

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

A 1000 Weeks ON, the Romance Goes ON… Known as the anthem of love by the young India, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge completed its 1000 weeks of screening by running nonstop at Maratha Mandir, the singlescreen theatre in Mumbai, for the last 19 years. And here's the takeaway from this colossal saga of success - simple stories can do wonders, provided they are told convincingly!

Such is the continuing rage and sensation of this anthem of love that a diehard fan from Oman flew down to Mumbai just to watch the special show of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) at Maratha Mandir on December 12, 2014. She is just one of the numerous DDLJ lovers who thronged the iconic cinema hall, located opposite the Mumbai Central railway station, on the day it completed its 1000 weeks of screening. The film has been running nonstop at this single-screen theatre at its usual time slot of 11:30 am for the last 19 years! The special screening went house-full as the fans, mostly youngsters, flocked the place. A famous landmark in Mumbai, Maratha Mandir is one of the very few single-screen cinema halls in the city to have withstood the onslaught of multiplexes.

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Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, also known as DDLJ, is an Indian romantic drama film released in 1995. Written and directed by debutant director Aditya Chopra and produced by his father Yash Chopra, the film features Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in lead roles. The supporting cast is a huge list that includes remarkable actors such as Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Farida Jalal and Satish Shah. It's a

President Obama quotes SRK's 'Senorita' Dialogue During his recent visit to India, US President Barack Obama had charmed everyone by quoting Shah Rukh Khan's famous line “Senorita, bade bade deshon mein...” from blockbuster 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' at the Siri Fort auditorium. He drew a loud cheer from the audience after he borrowed SRK's famous dialogue from the movie.

simple story of a young couple who fall in love on a European vacation, and how the boy tries to win over the girl's parents. It was filmed in India, London and Switzerland.

Awards & Recognition In 1996, the film won 10 filmfare awards, including four major awards in the Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress categories. Earning over INR106 crore (US$17 million) in India and INR16 crore (US$2.5 million) overseas, the film was declared an "All-time Blockbuster" and became the biggest Bollywood hit of the year, as well as one of the biggest Bollywood hits ever. It also won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. The film was ranked by Indiatimes Movies among the "25 Must-See Bollywood Films". It was one of the two Hindi films in the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" list along with Mother India. It was also placed 12th on the British Film Institute's list of the top Indian films of all time. It remains the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema.


• BUSINESS TREND • The Success Formula Compelling Characterization 'Raj' is the charming lover boy and 'Simran' is the girl-next-door. They are what every guy and girl can identify with. On the one hand, they are real enough so we can relate to them and on the other hand, they evoke fantasy in our minds. The charm of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as Raj and Simran caught the fancy of generations of youngsters. Well-crafted screenplay It's a simple story but presented with intricacies and unforgettable moments. The scene where Raj confesses his love for Simran and the very next moment he laughs it off saying that he was just kidding or the parting scene before the song Na jaane mere - the movie makes the audience want to fall in love. A Combo of Modern & Tradition Even as the lead characters exude the 'cool' factor, what wooed especially the NRI audience is that the 'values' portrayed in the film were rooted in Indian tradition. The Hotel scene where Raj pulls a prank on Simran is the best example. In fact, the very story of the film is about the lovers convincing their parents to give their consent rather than eloping away. Quirky yet Convincing Dialogues Who can forget "Bade bade deshon me aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai" (Such small things keep happening in big countries) or "Agar ye tujhe pyaar karti hai toh ye

palatke dekhegi.." (If she loves you, she will turn around and see you.. turn.. turn). The dialogues by Javed Siddiqui were the ones the audience could relate and also had a good recall value. Melody of All Time Every song of the film went on to become a cult. Jatin-Lalit's soundtrack for DDLJ was judged the top Hindi soundtrack of all time by on-line voters on the BBC Asian Network. From Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle to Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu and Abhijeet, the list of playback singers comprised the doyens of Hindi film music. The fact that the movie remains unparalleled in terms of its success over a period of 19 years is a message in itself - simple stories can do wonders, provided they are told convincingly!

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TheatreMagic ::: January-February 2015  
TheatreMagic ::: January-February 2015  

TheatreWorld is a guide to the cinema exhibition industry and technical design of a movie theatre published by Network208. TheatreWorld is t...

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