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HARMAN Appoints Pradeep Chaudhry as Country Manager of India Operations HARMAN, the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced that Pradeep Chaudhry has been appointed Country Manager for its India operations, effective January 1, 2016. Based in Bengaluru, India, Chaudhry will also continue to serve in his current role as CFO of the HARMAN Connected Services division. Chaudhry succeeds M Lakshmi Narayan, who will serve as an Advisory Chairman until December 2016. In his new role, Pradeep will be responsible for all of HARMAN's Sales, Marketing, R&D and Engineering operations in the country. With more than 7,500 employees, India is now home to HARMAN's largest concentration of software engineers and designers, focused on developing innovative systems and solutions that leverage cloud, data and analytics to advance the connected car, connected enterprise and connected lifestyle. Pradeep will report to Dinesh C Paliwal, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HARMAN on country management matters and to Sandy Rowland, HARMAN's Chief Financial Officer, in his role as CFO of that division. "Pradeep's extensive experience in managing the financial and operational structure of multinational technology companies will be of great value to HARMAN as we continue to expand our presence in India," said Paliwal. "Over the last several years, we have invested significant resources in building our R&D and manufacturing capabilities in India and have worked hard to earn a position as the technology partner of choice to the most prestigious companies there. With the recent acquisition of Symphony Teleca, we are now poised to capitalise on our talent and resources

HARMAN India has a rapidly growing employee base, a strong distributor and sales network, an equally strong service network and a robust roster of tier one clients. In 2014, the Company was awarded TATA Motors Supplier of the Year award and achieved more than 100 invention disclosures. HARMAN has large development centres across seven cities in India and a manufacturing facility and a state of the art Acoustics lab in Pune.

to grow our business in India, particularly in the Automotive, Consumer, Professional and Enterprise markets. We are confident that Pradeep will expand HARMAN's influence as an innovation leader and employer of choice in this exciting and rapidly evolving region." Over his 23-year career, Pradeep has held positions of increasing responsibility in Operations, Finance and Management in both India and the US. He joined HARMAN Connected Services through the 2015 acquisition of Symphony Teleca, where he served as EVP and CFO since 2009. Pradeep holds a bachelor's degree from Wabash College with a double major in Mathematics and Philosophy and a Master's degree in Business Administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "We are grateful to Lakshmi, who initiated HARMAN's India operations in 2009 by setting up our R&D and sales teams and helping to forge important business relationships that continue to prosper," added Paliwal. "Now, we are eager to build on his accomplishments and realize the potential of this market across all of our businesses."

Miraj Cinemas Aims at 100 Screens Miraj Cinemas targets 50 new screens by March 2017, which will take the total count beyond 100 screens across the country. The company recently opened a 4-screen multiplex in Hyderabad, making its foray into Telangana. Currently, Miraj Cinemas, part of Rajasthan-based Miraj Group, operates 55 screens across 11 states and 18 cities in India. "We are planning to have over 100 screens by the end of next fiscal," said Amit Sharma, Managing Director, Miraj Cinemas. The multiplex chain which already has presence in Andhra Pradesh is also gearing up to tap opportunities in tier 2 and 3 towns. Places like Nizamabad, Warangal and Khammam in Telangana and some new cities in Andhra Pradesh are on its list of expansion. "Our objective is to open nearly 10 per cent of our new screens here as this region offers immense growth opportunities for us," he said. On the occupancy levels, Sharma said his chain had been doing better than the industry. "Occupancy level in our screens is around 32 per cent which is considerably higher than the March-May 2016

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industry," he maintained, putting occupancy levels in old and singlescreen theatres around 20 per cent. The multi-screen property of Miraj Cinemas in Hyderabad, Miraj Shalini Shivani, is not only the company's first multiplex in the Telangana, but also its first theme-based theatre which depicts European street design. "The theatre is developed in such a manner that people entering its premises feel as if they are roaming around in a European street," he said. Besides its theme, the multiplex has 1,286 seats across the four screens, Dolby Atmos Sound, 2K projectors and recliner seats.

CCI Seeks Public Scrutiny on 500-crore PVRDT Cinemas Acquisition Deal Fair trade regulator CCI has sought comments from the public on movie theatre chain PVR's proposed 500crore worth acquisition of DT Cinemas, after finding that prima-facie the deal was likely to adversely impact competition. This is yet another instance over a year that Competition Commission of India (CCI) has put a major deal for public scrutiny. Last year, CCI had sought comments from public on two mega transactions - the $4 billion ( 26712 crore) Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy combination and Holcim-Lafarge deal. In both instances, the regulator had called for divestment of certain assets by the entities concerned to address anti-competition concerns. "The Commission is of the primafacie opinion that the combination is

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likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition and accordingly has directed PVR to publish details of the combination for bringing the combination to the knowledge or information of the public and persons affected or likely to be affected by such combination," the regulator said. PVR had approached the regulator in July seeking approval for the deal with DT Cinemas - the film exhibition business of DLF Utilities Ltd comprising 39 screens (29 existing and 10 upcoming) in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Chandigarh. In June, PVR announced the deal to acquire realty major DLF's DT Cinemas for 500 crore - a transaction that marked a significant consolidation in the country's cinema exhibition business. As part of the transaction, PVR would buy 39 screens of DT Cinemas having a total capacity of around 9,000 seats.

played the film's first half, much to the relief of the annoyed audiences. The delay in turn disturbed the screening schedule of all the films slated to be screened, causing inconvenience to the audiences.

Jazz Cinemas Buys Luxe Multiplex SPI Cinemas, a leading player in the film exhibition business in Tamil Nadu, has sold its swanky 11-screen multiplex Luxe situated in Phoenix Market City, Velachery, to Jazz Cinemas. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website, Jazz Cinemas Private Limited was formerly known as M/S Hot Wheels Engineering Private Limited. Hot Wheels Engineering Private Limited was incorporated in 2005.

Post the deal, PVR would have presence in 44 cities with 115 multiplexes and 506 screens, the company had said in June.

Faux Pas at Hyderabad Multiplex Annoys Audience On a day when trade circles were hoping four releasing films would do well and continue the winning streak set by the Sankranthi hits, ended up in an incident that caused embarrassment to a major multiplex and annoyance to audience. During the said film's first show in morning, the multiplex's staff mistakenly started off the projection by playing the film's second half. Soon, audiences were confused at the haphazard way the film was proceeding. Twenty minutes into the screening, the projectionists realised their mistake and stopped the screening for a few minutes and then

Malls and Cinemas Opened Up for Chennai Flood Malls and cinemas in Chennai threw open their doors for people who were stranded in the floods. Phoenix Market City mall in Velachery, where many areas were severely flooded, tweeted and said that they were ready to accommodate people stranded due to the floods, provided they had a valid ID proof. Theatres soon followed suit and Sathyam Cinemas opened up their five screens in Royapettah, Express Avenue Mall, Perambur and Thiruvanmiyur for people who needed a place.


Karnataka Govt Likely to Limit Multiplex Ticket Price to 120 The Karnataka government is expected to set a limit or maximum cap of 120 to be charged on movie tickets in multiplexes. The state has one of the highest ticket prices in the country currently. The government’s decision is inspired by the Tamil Nadu model and is on the back of recommendations given by a committee formed to revise Karnataka's film policy. A minimum price of 100 has also been recommended. The movement to bring a cap on ticket prices was led by Dayal Padmanabhan, a Kannada film director and producer, who started a petition on change.org. He along with Kannada film chamber, has also written a letter to the Chief Minister seeking his intervention. The online petition is on the lines of neighbouring Tamil Nadu. As a result, the multiplexes are expected to see a huge surge in footfalls, feel industry watchers. The occupancy rate of multiplexes in the city ranges between 38% and 50%.

Bookmyshow Aims to Increase Bookings by 50% in 2016 Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the owner of online tickets booking portal Bookmyshow.com, aims at 50% increase in tickets sold on its platform to 150 million tickets this year. The company plans to add 200 single-screen theatres from smaller towns to its ticket booking portal. "We have a lot of focus on user engagement which will be driven by payment services and discovery and value-added services," said Marzdi Kalianiwala, head of business intelligence at the company. The company has already partnered with

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600-800 single-screen theatres. "15% of the supply in terms of screens would come from the next 40 towns," Kalianiwala said. The Mumbai-based firm plans to improve the features of the virtual wallet (rolled out by the company in August last year) by adding "peer-topeer sharing for better payment options by March this year" as it sees 70% of the bookings coming from the mobile platform. "We think it's important to target the pre-22 age group that is 20-25% of the user base that mainly transacts in cash and the peer-to-peer lending feature would help target this audience," says Kalianiwala. It plans to launch the new feature by August this year. In addition, the company is looking to sign up with general provision stores for the users to top up the wallet by paying cash. Users will also be able to transfer the top up amount back into their accounts. Features like last-minute cancellations of movie tickets may be added to the value-added services, he added.

Cinépolis India honoured with the DLP Cinema Marketing Achievement Award Cinépolis India, the country’s first international exhibitor has been honoured with the prestigious DLP Cinema Marketing Achievement Award at CineAsia2015. The award, recognising Cinépolis’ role in bringing the modern digital-cinema experience to India, was presented at the CineAsia Awards Ceremony on December 10, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong. Javier Sotomayor, Managing Director of Cinépolis India, accepted the award on behalf of the company. On receiving the award, Javier Sotomayor said, “We are delighted and honoured to be recognised for the work that we’ve done in India. Our entry into this diverse and highgrowth market has helped us evolve as

a brand in tremendous ways. We have introduced many innovations and novel concepts in cinemas across the country. Awards such as this give us the impetus to continue to meet and surpass the ever-rising expectations of the discerning Indian consumer.” Andrew Sunshine, Co-Managing Director for CineAsia said, “This award recognizes, Cinépolis India for their continued efforts to enhance and promote the digital experience in their theatres, not only in India, but around the world. Cinépolis has revolutionised the Indian moviegoing experience. Within a short span since it foray into the Indian market, it has managed to scale up with great agility. This award do reflect the huge impact that the company has had on the Indian exhibition industry.” Cinépolis India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cinépolis, the world’s 4th largest movie theatre circuit headquartered in Mexico. The company started its operations in India in 2009 at Amritsar and currently operates 215 screens under the brand names of Cinépolis, Cinépolis VIP and Fun Cinemas. Cinépolis is the fastest growing multiplex chain in India, having reached more than 100 screens organically in less than five years. Last year, Cinépolis acquired 83 Screens of Fun Cinemas across the country. Cinépolis India currently has operations in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Surat, Jaipur, Bhopal, Patna, Thane, Vijayawada, Vadodara, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Bhatinda, Ambala, Panipat, Ghaziabad, Mangalore, Hubli, Kota, Gwalior, Coimbatore, Khanna, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Ghaziabad and Ranchi. The company has aggressive plans of achieving 400 screens by 2017. Cinépolis India has been awarded with “Most Admired Retail Launch” in 2010, “Most Admired Retailer – Innovation” in 2011, “Fastest Growing Multiplex Chain” in 2015 and “Most Admired Retailer of the Year – Entertainment” in 2015.


Mukta A2 Presents the Gujarati Film Festival In today’s day and age, the Indian film industry plays a very significant role in the society. Moreover, the core of any entertainment is to reach its target audience. Taking this thought forward, Mukta A2 Cinemas is organising the first edition of the Gujarati Film Festival. The festival will be held from 11-13 March at Mukta A2 Cinemas across their Gujarat market Ahmedabad, Baroda and Rajpipla. The festival aims at giving regional cinema the desired rise in the industry. The film festival was inaugurated in the presence of Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Ltd at Mukta A2 Cinemas, Ahmedabad. The curtain raiser was followed by a panel discussion in the presence of renowned artists - Abhishek Jain (Director/Actor, Kevi Rite Jaise & BeyYaar), Ashish Kakkad (Actor, BeyYaar and Vitamin She), Darshan Trivedi (Media & entertainment industry professional and researcher), Amit Desai (Creative Producer), Divyang Thakkar (Actor) and Ishan Randera (Director, Gujju Bhai The Great). Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Puri said, “We are extremely happy to announce the 1st edition of the Gujarati Film Festival and do our part for the regional cinema. We have always aimed at showcasing movies from all corners of the India. Such festivals are very important as they bring out the films need to be seen, rewarded and recognized. With Gujarati Film Festival we are doing a small contribution to regional cinema and we plan to do many more such film festival in various languages.”

PVR Becomes The First Indian Multiplex Chain to Cross 500 Screens India’s largest cinema exhibition company, PVR Ltd is celebrating a major event in the history of cinema in India by reaching the mark of 500 screens across the country; this is the first time an exhibitor has accomplished this milestone while continuing to provide world-class cinematic experiences to moviegoers in 45 cities pan India. PVR’s incredible journey began in 1997 with the opening of India’s first multiplex cinema, PVR Anupam in Saket. The cinema was a hit with Delhi from the very first day introducing to the city a new paradigm in cinema going-modern, clean and imbued with state-of-art technology. This led, in turn, to superlative movie experiences. From the first screening of Shahrukh’s “Yes Boss” to Priyanka’s “Jai Gangaajal” this week, PVR Anupam laid the bedrock for a major business in entertainment. PVR’s advent into the multiplex industry came at a time when the entire fate of the movie business was uncertain. Triggered by video piracy and the dilapidated condition of cinemas with poor projection & sound quality, unhygienic atmosphere, dark & dingy environment, people were becoming averse to watching movies at cinema halls. PVR provided choice to consumers to watch any movie under a single roof by way of a clean & hygienic place, staff serving in clean uniforms and a colourful ambience, it transformed the way millions of Indians consume movies. In a way PVR is being credited of ‘Taking India to movies’, reviving the movie industry when all seemed lost. Unaware of the multiplex format, PVR had to convince the government authorities, rewrite building bylaws that it was possible to have four cinemas under one roof without compromising on safety parameters. Considering India as a heterogeneous market, PVR has given the Indian

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audience a grand spectra of cinema formats like PVR Heritage, PVR Premier, PVR IMAX, PVR Director’s Cut, PVR Gold Class, PVR Premiere, PVR Talkies and the latest addition being PVR Icon & PVR Superplex. A company of many firsts in the Indian multiplex industry, PVR is India’s first fully digital cinema chain and the first in India to sign a 50 screen deal pan India with Dolby Atmos. PVR is the first to offer online ticketing, queue- less box office through Quick-TIx Counters, QR code ticketless entry, and ‘on the seat’ food offerings. PVR is also the first multiplex chain to install 3D enabled screens at all its multiplexes. Primarily starting as a north centric cinema brand, PVR assumed status of a national cinema chain within 4 years of its starting operations. The acquisition of Cinemax India in 2012 propelled PVR into the big league. Being the largest cinema chain in India & entertaining over 70 million patrons, PVR’s dominance in the multiplex industry in India now extends to 501 screens, 111 cinemas in 45 cities across India. PVR has achieved a steady year on year growth with over 18 years of its existence redefining the way people watch movies with the launch of various formats under the gamut of cinema viewing experiences. Speaking on the occasion of achieving this milestone, Mr. Ajay Bijli, Chairman & Managing Director for PVR Limited said “We are very excited to achieve the historic milestone of 500 screens. PVR always pushed the envelope to provide unique cinematic experiences for its audience. We are privileged to have been supported by millions of movie goers across India who have appreciated the brand and made it bigger. We cannot thank enough our shareholders and investors who have shown immense faith in us over the years. With this achievement we continue to inspire excellence in the industry and achieve another milestone of 1000 screens by 2018.”


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Capital Cinemas

A Trendsetter in Vijayawada The recently-launched Capital Cinemas is being seen as the pride of the newly-formed state of Andhra Pradesh. The first-of-its-kind in Vijayawada, the cinema boasts of 7 Giant Screens for 2D, 3D and 4D viewing, 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, 4K Projection and stadium-like seating for around 2000 people. Dubbed as the Business Capital of Andhra Pradesh, the city of Vijayawada has emerged as one of the key commercial centres in the newly-formed state and its proposed capital Amaravati. The recently launched Capital Cinemas at Trendset Mall (the largest mall in Vijayawada), is poised to be one of the landmarks in translating chief minister N Chandra Babu Naidu's futuristic dream into reality. "Andhra Pradesh has always been a movie crazy state and offers a huge potential for cinema exhibition. For long, cinemas have been the primary source of entertainment in Andhra Pradesh and will continue to be so," says Mr Kishore, Unit Head - Capital Cinemas. "Capital Cinemas is a joint venture between Prasad Group and Suresh

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Productions. Both together have more than 100 years of experience in film production, post production facilities, outdoor equipment, film exhibition and film distribution," he informs. Inaugurated in October 2015 by the chief minister and actors Venkatesh and Rana Daggubati, the state-ofthe-art Capital Cinemas features cutting-edge technology, luxury screening & seating, world-class infrastructure and trendsetting cinema experience for the state. A major hub of Telugu film industry, the city is recognised as a "Global City of the Future" by McKinsey Quarterly. Situated in the proposed capital that is being visualised as a smart and modern city, Capital Cinemas is being seen as the pride of the new state.

Wholesome Entertainment An exciting initiative by Suresh Productions and the Prasads Group, Capital Cinemas provides wholesome family entertainment to the people of the newly-formed state. The cinema boasts of 7 Giant Screens for 2D, 3D and 4D viewing, 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, Auro 3D Sound, 4K Projection and stadium-like seating for around 2000 people. "For the first time in Vijayawada, all 7 audis are equipped with Christie 4K projection and with silver screens. Recliner class leg space is of superior quality. The food menus in the concession counters is having more variety and is reasonably priced when compared to others in the competition," he informs.


• INDIA PLEXING • High-End Audio Experience Capital Cinema features the top-ofthe-line Isotop technology patented by Pulz Electronics Pvt Ltd. "The core technology is based on the advanced line source principles for perfect vertical coverage and a well-defined horizontal dispersion with asymmetrical horns. The result is a coherent high SPL wave front with low distortion and artifacts. This technology is a radical departure from the conventional vertically aligned mid high sections of present day cinema systems," explains Anirvan Ghose, Director, Pulz Electronics Pvt Ltd. "Capital Cinema is the best place to watch a movie in Vijayawada. The screens are large and the sound and picture quality outstanding. It was a great experience working for this project and we look forward to such high-end cinemas coming up in India which can give a boost to the entire film industry," says Anirvan. The Pulz Co-axial Surround Speakers installed are designed to reproduce immersive audio soundtracks faithfully in large cinemas. They are capable of very high SPL and uniform dispersion throughout the auditorium. In the conventional cinema surround speaker systems, multiple drivers are aligned either vertically or horizontally. This design may produce off axis lobes and uneven frequency response.

"The Pulz co-axially placed HF unit on the other hand is coherent and produces smooth on and off axis frequency The subwoofers use our recently introduced SIC Technology. The bass reflex enclosure is tuned to 25Hz for deep bass. A secondary open volume enclosing the 18" driver gives a rising frequency response increasing the impact of the low frequency effects. This system offers the best balance between deep and punchy bass," informs Anirvan. The complex is powered by 1,80,000 watts of raw AES power. The Pulz amplifiers use the new innovative dynamic tracking power controller (DTP) which fluidly adjusts the power supply rails to track the signal. As a result unwanted power dissipation in the output stages is minimized by almost 80%. "The Pulz audio system is the most high end system available today and has helped Capital Cinemas achieve the best audio experience far superior than what is available at the multiplexes today. Vijayawada is a very competitive market and all the major cinema players have their properties next to each other. The enhanced experience has helped them differentiate from these other multiplexes and the results are already visible as Capital is the preferred choice for movie goers not only in Vijayawada, but also for people from neighbouring cities," says Anirvan. "The team at Capital is

extremely experienced in building cinemas. The project was personally overseen by Mr Suresh Babu and we faced no challenges at all. Capital has been one of our easiest and smooth installations," he adds. Anutone, one of India's foremost companies into acoustics, drywalls, ceilings and panelling, achieved the desired level of noise absorptions with its expertise. "Our products have been installed in ceiling (Subtex Ebony tiles), stage ceiling (Strand Ebony) and wall panels (Strand backed with Synth). We used FS 15mm gripper systems and fabrics stretched on the gripper as per the desired designs," explains K Rajesh, Sr Regional Manager at Anutone Acoustics Ltd. "We have an experienced team that specializes in multiplex and the same team was involved in this project. They were able to understand the drawings and were able to accomplish the work on schedule," he explains.

A Power-Packed Joint Venture Suresh Productions is one of India's largest integrated production powerhouses that has made over 50 years of contribution to India's national and regional cinema, a vivid cinematic history. It is one of India's largest exhibition companies with over 400 theatres in the country. The Prasads Group has always provided value for money to its customers with state-of-the-art equipment, constant upgradation of emerging technologies and uncompromising quality of service. Prasads IMAX movie theatre at Hyderabad is the most popular IMAX Theatre in India, and the second largest IMAX 3D screen in the world.

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PVR Cinemas

Reinforces its Presence in South India With the launch of its IMAX property in Bengaluru and the second multiplex in Chennai, PVR aims to cross the mark of 500 screens this year.

IMAX Magic & Gold Class Screens in the Silicon Valley of India Celebrating its 20 years of journey, PVR brings yet another stupendous cinematic innovation to Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India. PVR, one of the top cinema exhibition companies in the world, celebrates the launch of its newly constructed 9screen multiplex at VR Bengaluru, Whitefield. Being the technological hub of the country, Bengaluru has an audience which has a huge inclination towards technology and has an inherited refined taste. Therefore, PVR has brought the ultimate blend of luxury and technology with another IMAX equipped audi and four Gold Class screens along with premium

mainstream cinemas at the same platform for the movie lovers. With this addition, PVR continues to be largest multiplex of the city with 57 screens across 7 properties in the city. The launch also witnessed the Stormtroopers march marking the release of the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the presence of Mr Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd; Ms Niharika Bijli, Director, Special Projects, PVR Ltd; and Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Cinemas. At the launch, Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd said, "Bengaluru's love for cinema is charismatic. It is the

dynamism of the market that keeps us assertive for bringing innovations and global standard of cinematic experience to the city. The city has truly become a mecca of cinema watching. The city has an inherent taste to watch movies in a refined format. And with the massive response that we received post our first IMAX in the city, we are definite that our second IMAX would churn out much more appreciation from our customers. Through our second IMAX in Bengaluru, we would like to rekindle the magic of IMAX experience for our patrons." Rohit George, MD, Xander added, "At Virtuous Retail, our mission is to

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• INDIA PLEXING • connect communities and create new social hubs for urban Indian consumers. Inspired by the city's heritage, VR Bengaluru, our latest flagship development is designed as a center of innovative retail, wellcrafted and curated experiences, and exciting dining and family entertainment formats. We are delighted to partner with PVR Cinemas to present a truly differentiated cinema offering to the city of Bengaluru with India's largest Gold Class setting, IMAX and Private screenings." Strategically located at the heart of the city, the multiplex is situated at VR Bengaluru, Whitefield and serves as the haven for many multinational IT companies. Spread across 61,140 sq ft of area, the cinema has been designed whilst keeping the dynamic market in mind. Huge 3D posters of cult movies like Everest, Avengers, X-Men along with Bollywood blockbusters accentuate the lobby appearance. The pre-foyer area is triple height with touch panel quick tix and movie info kiosks with plasmas, artworks, poster boxes displaying movie info, trailers and other information. The lobby is also outfitted with comfortable seating, dim lights, giving an elite and classy ambience. The multiplex promises to cater to 1393 patrons. Enabled with state-of-the-art interiors, the multiplex also offers 3D technology with 7.1 channel surround sound, a separate IMAX audi and four unique Gold Class audis.

For the first time, PVR has also developed a gourmet menu including hot dogs, salads, baked fries, apart from the a la carte Gold Class menu to satiate the need of food connoisseurs. The healthy menu is specially urbanized to tickle the taste buds of movie aficionados. Adding further, Mr Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd said, "We are extremely excited to have come up with another multiplex in Bengaluru. With no dearth of entertainment in the city burgeoning with massive shopping malls, pubs, art galleries & auditoriums, PVR has strategically planned its seventh property for the people to catch up their favorite

movies. We hope that with our premier offering (Gold Class, IMAX), the customers here are thoroughly entertained. I would also like to thank Sugam Vanijya Holdings Pvt Ltd, our mall developers who have provided us with such a prime location. We are looking forward to a massive response from the city." PVR plans to expand with equal penetration in both tier II and tier III cities. Presently, PVR has more than 480 screens successfully running in the country and aims to cross the mark of 500 screens soon. With this launch, PVR's screen count rises to 491 screens at 109 properties in 44 cities in India.

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• INDIA PLEXING • Second Multiplex in Chennai at Velachery PVR Cinemas announced the launch of its 5-screens multiplex at The Grand Mall, Velachery, Chennai. After receiving a tremendous response from its debut multiplex at Ampa Mall, PVR brings yet another premium platform to provide next level of cinematic experience to the city. The newly-launched property in the region is spread over an area of 50,000 sq ft with a capacity of 1275 seats. With this launch, the multiplex chain strengthens its presence in southern India with 110 screens in 17 properties. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Cinemas said, "We have received an overwhelming response from the audience here and we are even more enthusiastic to launch our second multiplex in Chennai. South is an essential market and we have made constant endeavors to reach out to the movie lovers in the city. We have left no stones unturned to bring them an experience filled with convenience, comfort and the best cinematic experience." The opening of this multiplex has been designed understanding the market and every other aspect of cinema viewing in Chennai. The artwork in the foyer is a collage of iconic conversations from movies that defined trends in Kollywood; it is a tribute to Tamil cinema. PVR has always maintained its bench mark by offering the best to its audience. Raising the bar for movie watching experience, PVR has added different

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palates to its food section, bringing innovation to its offerings while upgrading its quality to international standards. The cinema also boasts of 2K Christie Digital projection, Dolby digital 7.1 surround sound, 3D enabled screens and state-of-the-art technology. 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 pleased to launch our second property in Chennai. We would like to thank the mall developer, PSR Associates for giving us the perfect location which is strategically positioned and stands as one of the most prominent hubs attracting huge footfalls. We are very hopeful to receive a similar positive response from the audience here for our second multiplex as well."


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Inox Strengthens Across India With the launch of its latest multiplexes in Meerut and Trissur, INOX is all set to make the movie-watching experience bigger and better in India! 3-Screen in Meerut INOX Leisure Ltd, India's leading multiplex chain, announced the launch of its cinema at PVS Mall, Shastri Nagar, Meerut. INOX's latest launch in the city of Meerut has3 screens, with a seating capacity of 1012 seat and bringsin the best movie viewing experience for its guests. With the new launch, INOX has further consolidated its presence in the Northern belt area of India and now operates a total of 413 screens in 105 properties across 57 cities pan India. Watching movies will now be an enriching experience for the people of Meerat. 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, hot and cold snacks, beverages and a variety of combos. INOX has also recently introduced facilities like QBuster, Service on Seat, Beacon - Brenzy (One of its kind app which works on low Bluetooth enabled technology) and paperless ticketing in a phased roll out.

Watching movies will now be an enriching experience for the people in Trissur. 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 flavored popcorn, hot and cold snacks, beverages and a variety of combo meals. INOX has also recently introduced facilities like Q-Buster, Service on Seat, Beacon - Brenzy (One of its kind app which works on low Bluetooth enabled technology) and paperless ticketing. Commenting on the launch, Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure Ltd said, "We are delighted to launch our first property in Kerala. This launch is a step towards INOX's commitment of providing holistic cinema viewing experience to the movie goers. We at INOX are looking forward to extend our presence and present our patrons with the best possible movie watching experience." Commenting on the launch, Mohit Bhargava, Regional Director (South), INOX Leisure Ltd said, "We are excited to kick off 2016 by bringing the INOX experience to Kerala. As we make our debut in the city, we promise to bring the best movie viewing experience to the people of Trissur and look forward to an over whelming response from our patrons."

Commenting on the launch, Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure Ltd said, "We are delighted to launch our first property in Meerut. As we aim to excel in our domain by providing movie connoisseurs with a premier experience, we feel pleased to launch our property in this city of enthusiastic movie lovers.We will leave no stones unturned to bring our guests an experience filled with convenience, comfort and the best cinematic experience." Commenting on the launch, Lalit Ojha,Regional Director (North), INOX Leisure Ltdsaid, "We have launched this property keeping in mind the growing needs of the audience for a quality cinema viewing experience. We foresee an emerging entertainment market in Meerut and it was thus important for us to expand our operations here."

6-screen in Trissur The movie-watching experience in Kerala is about to get bigger and better. INOX is all set to launch its first 6 screen multiplex in Trissur at Sobti mall. A perfect destination for tourism, holidays, art and culture, the city will now enjoy another avenue for entertainment with the INOX multiplex. The new multiplex has a capacity of a total 1368 luxurious guest seats all backed by world-class hospitality, making it a never seen before movie experience. March-May 2016

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Palazzo Palazzo

Majesty of Italian Grandeur SPI Cinema's latest pièce de résistance, Palazzo is a royal cinematic experience of its kind. The 9-screen multiplex unveiled at Vadapalani, Chennai, is a perfect balance of classic elements. Fresco walls, Italian marble flooring, classic paintings, golden chandeliers and royal fountain... No, this isn't a 7-star boutique hotel or a palace. It's actually a multiplex! Yes, SPI Cinema's latest pièce de résistance, Palazzo is a visual delight of sorts on more ways than one. Recently unveiled at the Forum Vijaya Mall, Vadapalani, Chennai, the 9-screen multiplex was inaugurated by film director, Gautham Menon and music director Harris Jayaram.

Italian Splendour Designed by Giovanni Castor, Palazzo recreates the majesty of Italian grandeur by combining a state- ofthe-art cinematic experience and sublime service in the most opulent surroundings. Commenting on the cinema, Harris Jayaraj said, "Royal cinematic experience in Chennai which is incomparable to anything across the globe."

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• INDIA PLEXING • "I can't wait to watch my first film at Palazzo by SPI Cinemas. The expanse of an entire floor dedicated to movie and moviegoers with food, the screens and beautifully decorated interiors. So pristine, I was thinking twice about taking my bag of popcorn inside. New destination for a great cinema experience in Chennai," says Gautham Menon.

State-of-the-Art Facilities Palazzo has 9 screens equipped with RDX-4K, with a total of 3,010 seats. It's a perfect balance of elements from a time literally set in stone. Florentine decor and grand lighting complete the setting. At the far end of the cinema, located around one of the grand chandeliers, is a cafe at the 'piazza', which resembles an Italian city square. The charming café offers comfortable seating and a wide selection of delicacies on the menu. Palazzo joins the lineup of multiplexes by SPI Cinemas - Sathyam cinemas, Escape, S2 Theyagaraja and the S2 Multiplex.


• INDIA PLEXING •

DT Cinemas

An Out-of-the-box Box-office Hit

DT Cinemas, the wholly owned subsidiary of the DLF Group, is a multiplex chain that started its operations through its first multiplex at DLF City Centre in Gurgaon. Over the years, DT Cinemas has become the “Entertainment Anchor” for DLF malls by attracting ever-increasing footfalls. The current DT Cinemas are located at Saket, Vasant Kunj, GK II, Shalimar Bagh, Gurgaon and Chandigarh. In this family of the most popular cinemas, comes another jewel that is set to set new standards in the cinema-going experience – DT Star Cinemas. It’s world-class. It’s revolutionary and totally worth the Oscar winners, the indies and the popular cinema that it will play host to.DT Star Cinemas, at the Mall of India Noida, is set to redefine standards of cinematic excellence under the able stewardship of Mr. Anant Verma, MD, DT Cinemas. A 7-screen multiplex, DT Star Cinemas at the Mall of India is the first in Delhi-NCR to boast of Dolby Atmos technology and 4K

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• INDIA PLEXING • technology. This revolutionary technology completely reinvents the way sound tracks are created and heard in cinema halls through the use of two radical concepts called Audio Object and Overhead Speakers, which create powerful and moving audio effects to make the viewing experience more exciting. Further making it a destination point and a full family entertainment arena are special additions like a unique audi for kids, an exclusive menu and a fine candy selection. Elaborating upon the same, the man helming this pioneering initiative, Anant Verma says, “we have been known for years for creating the perfect entertainment destination for all the movie goers and families looking for fun and comfort with state-of-the-art technology at the most reasonable price”.DT Star Cinemas at the Mall of India has truly set the bar high in experiencing the magic of movies and in going to the movies. Come, experience it for yourself. “DT Mall of India project features 6 large sized auditoriums all installed with Dolby Atmos system. The system is a full blown Atmos configuration with Pulz co-axial surround speakers. This is the only project in India which features 5 screen speaker systems behind the screen in every auditorium. The Pulz screen speakers are also co-axial designs.” says Anirvan Ghose, Director, Pulz Electronics Pvt Ltd. “The entire project is based on a booth-less concept and there are no projection rooms. The entire equipment is housed in two data centres connected to each other with a fibre-optic network. All the screens can be remotely operated from a single location. It was a complex installation with 434 amplifier channels powering 434 speakers, at the same time adhering to the stringent safety norms followed by DLF. I am sure many chains in the future will want to replicate this model.” he adds.

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• INDIA PLEXING •

Miraj Forays into Telangana The multiplex culture has swept across India, taking film-viewing experience to a premium level. Miraj Cinemas, a prominent player in the cinema exhibition business, now forays into the state of Telangana with its first thematic theatre at Dilsukhnagar, Kothapet in Hyderabad with 4 screens and a total capacity of 1286 plush seating. The recliner also added a feather to the crest along with the Dolby Atmos Sound along with 2K cinema projection technology. The multi-screen property in Hyderabad is the company’s first state-of-the-art theme-based theatre which depicts a Italian / European street concept, first-of-its-kind in the cinema designs where the feel of the outside has been brought within the interiors with elements like carts selling huge variety of food products, wrought iron benches, wrought iron street lamps, brick effect walls, chalkboard menu

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displays, bicycle parked in the street and to top it all the false ceiling of the alley in the archway format completes it all. The multi-display wall in the front glassed lobby modernises the look and connects the youth and the movie lovers to "Larger than Life Pictures." “The entertainment is no longer denned as sharing a soggy samosa &


• INDIA PLEXING •

popcorn in a cinema hall with broken chairs and a frayed carpet, the leisure industry is poised to take off at international levels with corporate groups chalking out blueprints for a slicker tomorrow. We at Miraj Cinemas are also striving to growth through invention and reinvention to meet the international standards. As an innovator in the realm of world class cinema viewing experience for all we have prepared our first theme based theatre here in Hyderabad and going forward we will create more such thematic theatre in other cities soon. Our philosophy has always been to push the envelope and come up with unique cinematic experiences for our audience,” said Amit Sharma, Managing Director, Miraj Cinemas. Designers Shalini-Shivani created space by implementing smart changes within the original shell of the old structure. Architecture and design was done by Sohail Kapadia of MNS Designs. According to Bhuvanesh Mendiratta, VP, Operations, Miraj Cinemas, “It's a ‘to be experienced’ cinema for the feel of the decor, the sound, the comforts of the plush seating's; the recliners add a feather to the crest along with the Dolby Atmos Sound with 2K projectors.” Miraj Cinemas aims to massively increase its presence in southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka. Currently it has operations in 11 states in India with a presence in 18 cities and aims to spread its wings to many more cities over next 2-3 years. So far, Miraj Cinemas had invested around 70 to 80 crore for 54 screens and will be investing to open new screens.

1.5 crore each

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• INDIA PLEXING •

Cinépolis’ Second Foothold in Chandigarh Cinépolis, the world’s 4th largest and India’s 1st international exhibitor, enhances the movie-watching experience of cinema lovers in Chandigarh with the launch of its new property in TDI Mall. This is the second Cinépolis property in the best planned city of the country after Fun Cinemas in Fun Republic Mall. With the launch of this three-screen property, Cinépolis will reach a count of 218 operational screens in India.

here are highly discerning and are well-exposed to the best movie watching experiences across the globe. We already have a robust niche in North India and our first property in Chandigarh under the Fun Cinemas brand name has a large and loyal customer base. With the launch of the Cinépolis multiplex, we have further cemented our strong presence in the vibrant union territory.”

The multiplex has 223, 209, 209 seats across three screens, totalling to 641 seats.

Devang Sampat, Business Head – Strategy, Cinépolis India shared, “The newly unveiled three-screen Cinépolis property will offer the most superb experience to our patrons. With the best of technology backing the multiplex, from Dolby Atmos to Real D 3-D, the new screens promise to raise the bar for the way residents of Chandigarh have been relishing their movie going experience!

Cinema-goers in Chandigarh are now in for an even more elevated experience as they delve into their favorite films. The biggest screen of the multiplex is equipped with Dolby Atmos sound system that delivers most immersive surround sound. Another exciting innovation is strategic tie-up with Real-D. This awe-inspiring and world’s most widely-deployed 3-D technology offers viewers a most enchanting 3-D movie-watching experience. Commenting on the launch Javier Sotomayor, Managing Director, Cinépolis India said, “We are committed to the ambitious expansion plans for Cinépolis. The

new property is in line with our target of reaching a total screen count of 400 by 2017. We want to take the superlative cinematic experience that Cinépolis offers across the length and breadth of India and enable more and more viewers to heighten the pleasure they take in this form of entertainment.” Ashish Shukla, Director Expansion said, “North India is a core focus area for us at Cinépolis. Cinema lovers

Deepak Nayyar, CEO, TDI Group, “We are excited to partner with an International Multiplex brand as respected as Cinépolis. Located at Commercial Hub of Chandigarh, we offer most advanced cinemawatching experience and variety of Food & Beverage options to the patrons. This is surely the best place to watch movies in the city and are expecting heavy footfall and look forward to the long-term patronage of Chandigarh residents.” Cinépolis India currently has operations in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Surat, Jaipur, Bhopal, Patna, Thane, Kochi, Vijayawada, Vadodara, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Bhatinda, Ambala, Panipat, Ghaziabad, Mangalore, Hubli, Kota, Gwalior, Coimbatore, Khanna, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Ghaziabad and Ranchi.

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• INDIA PLEXING •

Centerstage

A Multipurpose Auditorium at NSCI

Centerstage is one-of-its-kind amphitheatre-shaped auditorium located at NSCI, Mumbai. The multipurpose auditorium offers moviegoers a new, impressive cinematic experience through a combination of spectacular visual, audio and design elements.

Centerstage is one-of-its-kind and first theme-based cinema in India (Great Gatsby Movie Theme), located at NSCI, Mumbai. It is the only amphitheatre-shaped auditorium in the country. The multipurpose auditorium is meant for Movie / Previews / Press Conference / Stand up Acts / Musical Concert / Educational & Seminar Venue.

Centerstage offers moviegoers a new, impressive cinematic experience through a combination of spectacular image, sound and design. It is designed so that viewer can fancy and experience the film. The latest sound technology Dolby Atmos – an innovation in 3D cinema sound provides a new, powerful and complete listening experience. Dolby

Atmos creates realistic sound experience making it feel like you are in the movie. Centerstage is also equipped with the latest vision technology. Ashim Mathur, Director Marketing, Dolby Laboratories India said, “We are very excited and honored to work with NSCI, given the history associated with it. With the March-May 2016

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• INDIA PLEXING • installation of Dolby Atmos, the next generation sound platform, this marks a big step forward in extending state-of-the-art and most advanced experiences to the esteemed members of the club.”

Project Name

Centerstage

Location

SVP Stadium, NSCI, Worli, Mumbai

Promoter

The National Sports Club of India

Concept & Shell Architets:

Design Concept

The XD Experience is a film experience so you can always enjoy the best picture. Using the best premium quality Centerstage seating were done by Pen Workers. The mission of Centerstage is to make the best choice in content combined with the best technology in the best environment. Centerstage ensures continuous growth, innovation and improvement of big screen entertainment experience.

Interior Architects / Interior Designer:

Siddarth Garimela

Architects

Consultants Technical Design of Audi & Mehol Vora (Radio Ga Ga) & Acoustical Consulting :

Milind Raorane (Sound Frame)

Lighting (cold cathode & neon):

Alfa Deal

Booth equipment

Brand & Model

Projectors:

NEC NC-1100 L - 2K Digital Projector

Processors:

Dolby Atmos CP 850

Amplifiers:

Lab Gruppens

Audi equipment

Brand & Model

Speakers:

Kling & Frietag Speakers ( 33 Speakers 6 Subwoofer ) Mix Models

“It is a true Gem that our Club can proudly boast about stateof-the-art auditorium. Entertainment for the members. One step away” says Rakesh Malhotra, Honourable Regional Secretary for The National Sports Club of India.

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Screen:

Screen Reserch CLEARPIX 4k Woven PVC Fiberglass ISF & THX Certified

Seating:

Pen Workers Recliners

Automation

Raylogic Automation Lighiting & Audio Video Control


• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E •

'Screening' the Future of India's Box-Office For a country where people eat, drink and sleep cinema, an abysmally low screen count seems almost outrageous. TheatreWorld tries to gauge factors affecting the box-office collections in India. "The show must go on"! One can't find a better phrase to succour India's box office future even as singlescreen cinemas are closing down at a faster pace than at which multiplexes are adding screens. In a country where people eat, drink and sleep cinema, and where more than threefourths of the INR 13,000-crore film industry's revenues come from the box office, the statistics is worrying and disappointing. India is the largest producer of films annually with over 1600 films releasing every year compared with 700 and 340 films in the US and China respectively. But astonishingly, India's screen count is alarmingly low at a little over 10,000 screens, when the US and China boast of over 40,000 and 24,000 respectively! What could be the reasons for this huge gap between demand and supply? Is there any possibility of bridging the chasm and achieving a sense of equilibrium? TheatreWorld take a peek behind the box-office scenes. "Indian entertainment industry is replete with a lot of constraints. From high entertainment taxes, high operating cost to slow infrastructure growth, more specifically mall growth, finding apt location and getting statutory government licenses and approvals are major hindrances for the multiplex industry. Also some states have the restriction on the number of shows and ticket pricing. Having said that, we are extremely bullish about the country. In our estimates, India has the capacity to absorb 10,000 multiplex

screens or even more," observes Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd.

be food for thought for the entertainment industry but that cannot undermine the problem of piracy and its magnitude.

Need of the Hour -Equitable Growth in Screens

Piracy continues to be the biggest problem for the entertainment business today. In fact it is something that not only affects the players in the industry but also the government! "Our internal estimates peg that the industry losses about 25%- 30% of revenue every year. Piracy is not only affecting the film producers but the government is also losing a lot in form of taxes slipping out of their hands," points out Mr Bijli. "One pirated copy of the film recording uploaded on the web leads to huge amount of loss for the producers, and others employed in the business of film making. The industry is probably providing bread and butter to lakhs of people and it is dismal to see that quarter of its profits is directly marred due to piracy. With entertainment tax increasing to 40% in a few states, the situation has become even more difficult. We, as the biggest cinema exhibition company, feel it is our responsibility to educate people by showing anti-piracy ads before film screening," he adds.

Ask any denizen living in metros of India as to how many theatre screens/ multiplexes they know of in their city and chances are they would be able to jot down the list with quick ease. But ask a small-town dweller and the response is likely to be entirely different. The bottomline is - we not only need more screens, we also need more screens in smaller towns and cities of the country. "The last time we released our Malayalam film Adi Kapyare Kootamani, which was a major hit, we would have done three times the business we did, if we have 200 screens to release in Kerala. It is all about the release and the initial collections. The number of screens needs to increase in the country," says PV Sunil, CEO and Director, Carnival Cinemas.

Delay in Issuance of License As pointed out by Mr Bijli, several theatres are geared up to get on with business in the country but are awaiting the licence. Many in the industry rue that acquiring permission to open a multiplex is the biggest challenge to expansion. A case in point is PVR's five-screen multiplex at Grand Mall in Chennai's Velachery which was ready for operation in April 2013. But the permission was issued only in December 2015! It is delays such as these that put off the expansion plans of many entrepreneurs.

Problem of Piracy "The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It's by giving those people a service that's better than what they're receiving from the pirates." Gabe Newell's words should certainly

High Entertainment Tax Another Dampener Entertainment tax, a state subject, is other issue that concerns the growth of multiplexes. Whether it was Delhi government's move to hike the entertainment tax on cinema halls from 20% to 40% or Maharashtra cabinet's passing the revenue department's proposal to charge extra duty from multiplex/ cinema exhibitors, who charge up and above 250 per ticket from the viewers entertainment tax is one issue that continues to haunt the theatre owners. However, it's certainly not a bleak future we are looking at. The market is quite bullish and having consolidated at national level, most multiplex chains today are moving on to smaller towns where there is immense opportunity for growth.

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E •

PV SUNIL

SPEARHEADING THE CARNIVAL OF CINEMAS! With 327 screens at 126 properties spread across 92 cities, including metros and smaller cities, Carnival Cinemas has an increasing nationwide presence succoured by organic and inorganic modes of expansion. PV Sunil, CEO and Director, Carnival Cinemas, has propelled the company on an unprecedented growth trajectory. TheatreWorld gets upclose with the man himself.

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E • Tell us about the Carnival Group. One of the largest multiplex chains in India, Carnival Cinemas has a nationwide presence with 327 screens at 126 properties spread across 92 cities in metros, Tier-II and Tier-III cities today.The brand has its genesis in Carnival Films Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, and is into the business of film exhibition, production and distribution in India. Some of its headline-grabbing acquisitions include Reliance's Big Cinemas and HDIL's Kulraj Broadway and Star Gaze's Glitz. Under the leadership of Shrikant Bhasi, Chairman, Carnival Group, the multiplex chain aspires to be a one-stop entertainment destination, providing a complete and holistic film-viewing experience to its patrons. The group envisions 1000 screens globally by year ending 2017, and has adopted both organic and inorganic modes of expansion to speed up and succour its growth. PV Sunil, CEO and Director, Carnival Cinemas, is the pillar of the ambitious expansion endeavour of Carnival Cinemas.From 3 screens in 2012, he has propelled the company on an unprecedented growth trajectory, makingit the leading multiplex player in the country. His strategic vision for Carnival Cinemas focuses on three fundamental pillars: aggregating the best creative content; delivering the best viewer experience for consuming the content; and aggressively entering new markets for consolidating the company's leadership position. Fromusing the latest technology to drive business growth and improve customer experience, to conceptualizing and implementing ground-breaking business models, Sunil believes in continuously creating sustained growth for the organisation and stakeholders. A qualified Mechanical Engineer from the prestigious Karnataka Regional Engineering College, Sunil spearheads the Exhibition, Production and Distribution business. Under his proven leadership, Carnival Cinemas is poised to reach exponential levels of growth and consolidation. TheatreWorld gets up close with the man himself to delve into the entertainment carnival of Carnival Cinemas!

Carnival group is a very diversified company, which primarily started with agri-commodity business. We then diversified into entertainment and hospitality - food courts, restaurants and multiplexes. Further, we have also diversified into realty business by acquiring IT and mall spaces. We currently own a large mall in Chandigarh and a couple of IT parks. Carnival Cinemas started with a small theatre in Kerala. What inspired the group to foray so widely into cinema exhibition? It all started when we produced a movie in Kerala, and realised there were not many good quality screens to release it. We saw this as a business potential. This was also a time when old, single-screens were shutting down. We first started off with a 3-screen multiplex in a Tier-II area in Kerala. The response was very good and this became the starting point for our multiplex journey. It made good business sense to us as we were able to recover the costs in reasonable time and were able to charge reasonable ticket price although we were initially apprehensive if we would be able to do so in a Tier-II area! Gradually we expanded to other places in Kerala and South India. Pan India, there is immense potential for good multiplexes and we see great opportunity. Give us a brief overview of the investors and stakeholder of the group. Our group is held by a holding company called ABC (Asian Business Connection) by our Chairman Mr Shrikant Bhasi and some of our internal investors. We do not have any private investors from outside. Your buyout of HDIL and Big Cinemas made big headlines in the industry. Tell us more about it. When we were growing in this business, we realised that to be a noticeable player in the country one needs to have their presence in major March-May 2016

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E • metros such Mumbai and Delhi. But we would have had to wait for a very long period for malls to come up. That's when we thought of acquiring existing operational facilities. It was good timing as HDIL, which has presence in major cities, was looking for selling off their multiplex division. That's how our acquisition of 13 screens happened. Then came the bigger one -- Big Cinemas' 250 screens. Our aim of pan-India presence was beginning to materialise. Carnival Cinemas has set 1000screen landmark for year ending 2017. Are there any immediate plans of adding screens? Has Carnival done any structured research or market survey? It's a very ambitious mission. There are two ways of doing it of course one is organic and the other is through acquisition. There are various issues in organic growth as the real estate growth in the country is not so impressive. We have been signing up for viable spaces in multiplexes. In case of inorganic / acquisition, we don't see many opportunities for acquiring. This has prompted us to do some interesting research to understand the business potential. India produces the maximum number of films in the world, yet producers/distributers are forever complaining there are not enough screens to showcase films. A large number of regional movies are made

but of course Bollywood generates the major revenue. Last year's major blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan generated around INR 320 crore box-office collection with more than 3 crore people having watched the film in theatres. But in a country that has a population of 1.3 billion, when only 3 crore people watch the superhit film of the year, it only goes to show that almost 98 per cent of the population did not watch the film. This is very surprising because cinema is considered to be a religion in its own right in the country. We further analysed and found that of the 98 per cent, almost 50 per cent people were unable to watch the film because they did not have access to cinema screens. These are people who live in Tier-II and Tier-III regions of the country. And we need to reach them. That's when we started an internal project called 'Jalsa' to create entertainment zones to cater to smaller towns and cities. We started off with Madhya Pradesh and expanded elsewhere.

Please elaborate on the vision and mission of the company? Our vision is to provide good quality movie-watching experience to everyone in the country. We want to make Carnival synonymous with cinema! And our mission is to accomplish this vision with team effort and the support of our stakeholders. The market is dominated by several big, well-established players. How would you compete with them? Location wise, we hardly have any competition. Our growth pattern is mostly in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, where there are no big players. At the end of the day, the content everyone offers is going to be the same but our main focus is to provide good service to our patrons. What particular strengths and strategies do you bring to Carnival? I would say the strength lies in setting up a good team. After all, the final execution is done by them. My biggest strength is to build a good team. In the last one year, we have gone in for many acquisitions, taking over screens which were not doing well earlier; we have succeeded in turning around with success. You need a good team to be able to do that. In times of 3D and 4D, IMAX, Atmos and sophisticated ticketing processes, how is Carnival Cinema taking to the ever-changing world of technology?

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E • This has been both a challenge as well as a benefit. Once you construct a multiplex, you cannot upgrade to new technology all of a sudden. But then wherever new properties are coming up, we are installing the latest technology. We are upgrading to new technology such as m-ticket wherein you can just walk in to watch the film without having to check in anywhere. We operate 327 screens at 126 properties in 92 cities, which is a very huge spread, and our primary target is to centralise the technology so we can control operations of every property from our head-office. The industry is witnessing star megaplexes with 15+ screens. Does Carnival Cinemas have any such plans? We are catering to Tier-II and Tier-III cities primarily and we are also very keen to set up such megaplexes in large cities where multi lingual movies can be released like Bangalore. How different is Carnival Cinemas from others in the league. Ambience wise, we are comparable with any other multiplex. But we have been cautious with pricing. Since we cater to Tier-II and Tier-III population, we do not want to charge our patrons exorbitantly; we want to go reasonable. Ours is the most reasonably-priced multiplex compared to other chains. How much investment has the Group earmarked for cinema business? When do you think you would breakeven?

It's basically the shifting of the old, single-screen model to multiplex model. India had 18,000 single screens once upon a time, which have now come down to 12,000. We hardly had 50-60 multiplex screens and now we have more than 1000 multiplex screens. The single screens are shutting very fast because it's more of a real estate issue. The real estate value has gone up so high that it makes no sense for single-screen owners to continue as standalone theatres. China, on the other hand, has been witnessing large real estate growth. In India, the infrastructure has not been growing so well. India is the biggest producer of movies in numbers, yet producers complain they don't get theatres to release their films. Can you throw some light on the scenario? We need more and more screens to come up. The last time we released

our Malayalam film Adi Kapyare Kootamani, which was a major hit, we would have done three times the business we did, if we have 200 screens to release in Kerala. It is all about the release and the initial collections. The number of screens needs to increase in the country. Do you think television and home cinema are threats to the cinema exhibition industry? It's not been a threat so far mainly because in India, new releases can be watched only in theatre. How does Carnival Cinemas look at piracy issue in the country? Primarily, the piracy begins outside the country. The moment you release the movie offshores, the film gets copied and that's where the real piracy starts. Talking of India, in my opinion, the government needs to be much more stringent to save the cinema industry.

Considering the acquisitions and our own screens, we have invested close to INR 1000 crore. And the breakeven has already happened! What is your take on the Cinema exhibition industry in India? In the last two years, almost 3000 cinemas have been shutdown. Contrastingly, in China alone, 5000 screens were added. In your opinion, where is India lacking?

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TheatreMagic ::: March-May 2016  
TheatreMagic ::: March-May 2016  

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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