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Multiplex Screens to Cross 3000 by 2019: ICRA ICRA's maintains a positive outlook for the industry over next 3 to 5 years owing to low screen density in India and increasing preference for multiplexes over single screen theatres. According to research firm ICRA, India currently has around 2,200 multiplex screens having grown at a CAGR of 13.5 per cent during 2009 to 2016. The film exhibition industry continues to be dominated by single screen theatres which are almost three times the number of multiplex screens. Despite healthy growth, the screen penetration remains significantly low at six screens per million of population as compared to developed countries such as the USA, which is estimated to have over 125 screens per million of population with over 40,000 screens at the end of CY2015. The multiplex industry has grown significantly over the last decade complemented by rise in per capita income, increasing discretionary spends and changing consumer preferences for an enhanced moviewatching experience. Increasing number of malls with multiplexes has also contributed to the shift from single screen theatres to multiplexes. Rohit Inamdar, senior vice-president, ICRA, said: "The multiplex industry has seen significant consolidation in recent years which has led to considerable change in market dynamics with four major multiplex chains; PVR, Inox, Carnival Cinemas and Cinepolis, emerging as the prominent players, accounting for more than 70% of the total screen count of the Indian multiplex industry. These players are now likely to focus on organic growth, barring small acquisitions of regional players. Consequently, one can expect significant capex in the near to

medium term, largely to increase screen base. ICRA expects the number of multiplex screens to cross 3000 by 2019. Since most of the upcoming malls are being constructed in tier II and tier III cities, a majority of new screen additions would also happen in these places." The industry's overall profitability is almost entirely driven by the occupancy levels which in turn depend on the performance of films at the box office - a key risk variable. In order to maximize film exhibition revenues, the multiplex players resort to dynamic pricing to attract higher footfalls during weekdays and morning shows. Further, in order to diversify revenue sources, film exhibitors have been focusing on non-film exhibition sources such as food and beverage sales, advertisement income and convenience fee. The share of nonfilm exhibition revenues has increased over the years for the top two multiplex players - PVR and Inox. ICRA's maintains a positive outlook for the industry over the next three to five years owing to low screen density in India and increasing preference for multiplexes over single screen theatres. The film exhibitors, which include multiplexes as well as single screens, pay entertainment taxes (in the range of 0%-66%) to respective State Governments on their gross collections from the sale of tickets. The entertainment tax as a

proportion of gross collection has been on an increasing trend and continues to impact profitability of the film exhibitors. Since entertainment tax is proposed to be subsumed in Goods and Services Tax (GST), implementation of GST at a favourable rate can bring down the levied entertainment tax and the same would improve the profitability of multiplex players as the entire benefit of lower entertainment tax is unlikely to be passed on to the customers. Inamdar adds, "Besides high entertainment tax, another major challenge for the multiplex industry is timely implementation of under construction malls and receipt of required approvals. The delays in approvals will continue to impact the pace at which these players can grow going forward."

Rahul Singh Promoted to be the COO of PVR Cinemas

Rahul Singh has been promoted to be the Chief Operating Officer of PVR Cinemas, the largest cinema exhibition company in India and will be based out of their corporate office in Gurgaon. Mr Singh brings with him expertise, perspective and market intelligence of the hospitality and cinema business. He joined PVR in 2008 as Sr Vice President Operations. In his capacity, he was also heading the F&B initiative of the company, which saw a phenomenal growth of 16% CAGR in the last 4 years and F&B revenue contribution grew from 25% to 38% against the December 2016-February 2017

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ticket revenues. With a rich career in hospitality and operations with Taj Group of Hotels and ITC Welcome group, he comes with an experience of over 24 years. In his new role at PVR, he will oversee the entire business operations of the company with a focus on company's expenditure & revenues. He will further streamline operational processes, procedures and introduce strategic operational initiatives at PVR. Mr Rahul Singh holds a Hotel Management degree from IHMCTAN, Kolkata and a post-Graduate Diploma in Management from IMT, Ghaziabad.

Mukta Arts Surges on Plans to Transfer Cinema Business to New Arm Mukta Arts is locked in upper circuit of 20% at Rs 102, also its 52-week high on the BSE, after the company said that it is planning to transfer its entire business of cinema division to its wholly-owned subsidiary Mukta A2 Cinemas. "A meeting of the Board of Directors of the company was held on September 29, 2016 to consider and approve the transfer of entire business of cinema division as a going concern to its newly formed wholly owned subsidiary Mukta A2 Cinemas Ltd," Mukta Arts, promoted by Subhash Ghai informed BSE. The subsidiary, Mukta A2 Cinemas, will be created on a slump-sale basis through a business transfer agreement between the company and its subsidiary. The board will also approve the notice of postal ballot for the same. The trading volumes on the counter jumped more than 9-fold with a combined 1.66 million shares changed hands till 10:17 am. There were pending buy orders 266,823 shares on the BSE and NSE.

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Carnival Cinemas Introduced MoviEcard In a first of its kind initiative, Carnival Cinemas, India's third largest multiplex chain, introduced the Carnival MoviEcard in Mumbai from 5th October 2016. The Promoter and Chairman of Carnival Group, Dr Shrikant Bhasi along with the talented actor John Abraham unveiled the card in the city. Holders of this customized Carnival MoviEcard will now be able to watch unlimited movies for a period of 30 days at any of Carnival Cinemas screens in the city. The Carnival MoviEcardcomes in two variants i.e.,Weekday Carnival MoviEcard (Monday to Thursday) for just Rs. 499 and All Day Carnival MoviEcard for just Rs. 799. The Carnival MoviEcard can be used to watch unlimited movies at 38 screens in 9 Carnival Cinemas across Mumbai for 30 days from the day of activation. Customer can purchase the MoviEcard either logging onto www.carnivalcinemas.com or visiting the nearest Carnival Cinemas or by calling Carnival call centre toll free no.1800 102 5060. The Carnival MoviEcard can be renewed after a month by the same way. Dr Shrikant Bhasi, Promoter and Chairman of Carnival Group, said, "This card fulfils the objective of providing unlimited entertainment at a very affordable cost to our patrons. It's no more seen as a luxury but a reach out to the people. For the first time in India, Carnival is offering patrons the opportunity to watch unlimited movies at Carnival Cinemas at a fixed and affordable cost. The process of acquiring the Carnival MoviEcard can be done in minutes online and you can start using it straight away. Currently it is available in Mumbai and we are expanding this offering in other cities in phases soon."

Case Against Digital Cinema Initiatives The Tribunal has asked Director General of CCI to revisit the complaint and do proper investigation on the complaint filed by K Sera Sera Digital Cinema Ltd, against Digital Cinema Initiatives, joint venture of leading Hollywood studios in India for unfair business practices. It was alleged that these entities indulged in anticompetitive practices in the digital cinema exhibition market. The complaint was filed against USbased Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC, which is a joint venture, and its six stakeholder partners - The Walt Disney Company, Fox Star Studio, NBC Universal Media Distribution Services, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and Paramount Films India. The complaint alleges that Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC is a cartel through which the opposite parties are deciding the price of movie hall tickets by forcing the cinema owners to install expensive DCI-compliant servers and projectors. Hence, theatre owners are deprived from exhibiting Hollywood movies because of the possession of non-DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) compliant equipment, and such restrictions crush the relatively small and technologically independent players in the market. Those exhibitors who want to use E-cinema technology instead of D-cinema technology for screening of Hollywood films are getting excluded from the line of business. Moreover, by virtue of enforcing technical regulations, DCI is able to limit or control the distribution of films and force competition out in the process. Mr. Rahul Kanani, CEO, KSS Digital Cinema Ltd, said; "We welcome this positive move. With the review, we hope that CCI will take the necessary steps as per the directives of Tribunal to help players like us to operate seamlessly and provide a platform to all competing players to mutually operate in the market.


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ALOK TANDON

STEERING THE GROWTH MOMENTUM With its ability to adapt, transform and revolutionise the cinema exhibition industry, INOX is one of India's premium and most profitable multiplex companies. Alok Tandon, CEO of INOX, has been successfully steering the growth momentum of the multiplex over the years. He tells TheatreWorld how constantly reinventing ensures that company stays ahead of the curve.

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E • A leading public listed cinema chain known for its best-inclass quality and customer service delivery, INOX Leisure Limited (INOX) is one of India's most premium and most profitable multiplex company. Alok Tandon, CEO of INOX, has been actively leading and managing a large team and is responsible for the overall revenue and growth of INOX. A management professional with over 25 years of experience across Entertainment, Hospitality and Pharmaceutical industries, Alok has been spearheading the company's expansion and consolidation. He has been successfully steering the growth momentum of INOX over the years and by being true to its motto of 'Live The Movie'. Alok has been part of the start-up team of INOX and has helped build and develop the company since its inception. He played a very active role in all the three merger and acquisitions made by the company: INOX acquired CCPL (Calcutta Cine Pvt. Ltd.), which ran a chain of multiplexes under the brand name '89 Cinemas' in 2007; Fame India Ltd, a publicly listed company in 2010; and very recently Satyam Cineplexes Ltd. in August 2014. INOX Leisure is one of India's top multiplex chains… Tell us more about the company and its ongoing projects.

present. We have added 26 screens since April 2016. In addition to this, we plan to open another 34 screens by the end of this financial year.

The journey of INOX Leisure Limited (INOX) began in May 2002, with the opening of our first multiplex with 4 screens at Bund Garden Road, Pune. Today, we are present across India with 113 operational multiplex properties and 446 screens. We are present across 57 cities in 19 States.

What business prospects and fortunes did the Group see in it?

Our commitment is to provide a premium and an immersive movie viewing experience to our guests. Staying ahead of the curve, we always try and achieve this through high-end product, best-in-class technology, trained and well informed staff on the ground and high standard of hospitality. We have always been on an aggressive growth path. The focus has been on increasing our presence in the country by opening profitable multiplexes in several new cities as well as in cities where INOX is already

The Indian film industry has strong fundamentals and has a huge potential to grow. The movie watching culture is very strong in India; we have the second highest footfalls in the world; we have the highest number of releases in the world, still our screen density is one of the lowest. At INOX, we believed that our movie-obsessed nation must watch movies in the best way possible. With this intention, we launched our first multiplex in 2002. Today, INOX is known for its premium product, along with unmatched service standards. What exactly is your vision and mission in this business? How many locations and screens in how many cities/states and within what time frame do you visualise? December 2016-February 2017

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E • guests and have also taken every possible precaution for their safety and security. Most importantly, our product and our services are backed by the best-in-class technology that any exhibition company can offer. These are days of 3D digital, laser, 4D and large formats like IMAX, and sophisticated ticketing processes. How is INOX Leisure taking to these dynamic changes in technology? Our vision is to become the preferred destination for movie viewers in India. To achieve this, we are focused on enhancing the movie watching experience. As a contemporary brand, we ensure that we provide our patrons with comfort, convenience, best-in-class sound, crystal clear images, delectable food & beverage options and exemplary service. Our ability to reinvent, innovate and challenge ourselves has assisted us in revolutionising the cinema exhibition industry. Our philosophy has always been to push the envelope and create unique cinematic experiences for our audience. We have a robust expansion plan, with equal penetration in metros, tier II and tier III cities. Our plan is to also

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add 7 more properties with 34 screens to our existing numbers by March 2017, taking the total count to 480 screens and 120 properties by the end of FY2017. Beyond FY2017, we already have a pipeline of 56 properties with 289 screens. What are your strengths and strategies? Our biggest strength is our ability to adapt and transform in order to enhance customer experience. We are constantly reinventing ourselves to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve at all times. From the state-ofart interiors, to the best of services, we have left no stone unturned to give our guests a comfortable and luxurious experience. We train our employees to take utmost care of our

INOX has always been in the forefront of technology and a trendsetter. Be it setting up our Network Operating Centre (NOC); or our partnership with SAP HANA as the technology provider; or the introduction of Paperless Entry and the contactless credit card; designing the In-App food ordering facility; or the installation of Bluetooth enabled Beacons that provide various offers to our guests, INOX has always given best to its guests. Today, formats like 3D and online ticketing facility is not out of the ordinary. At INOX, we have these basic facilities in all our properties. Recently, we have announced a tieup with IMAX Corporation for five IMAX theatre systems in our existing properties.


• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E •

A new kind of ticketing contactless card payments - has been introduced at INOX. Tell us about this new initiative. In a first for movie-goers, we partnered with Innoviti to introduce Contactless Card Payments at INOX multiplexes. These contactless card payments are compatible with the Visa payWave platform. Guests can now buy movie tickets or food and beverage items by simply waving their credit or debit card at the contactless card acceptance terminals installed across various INOX multiplexes. This contactless card payment option helps the customer in paying his bill quickly and also helps INOX in reducing the transaction time per person. What are the new strategies in place to develop F&B at cinemas? Food that looks good and tastes good along with great service is a winning combination! At INOX, we have recently introduced the In-App food ordering service. This facility saves time for our guests and enables them to order food without any hassle, from anywhere in the theatre. We have curated our menus based on evolving trends. INOX guests typically comprise of families and big groups, who prefer larger sized popcorn, drinks and family combos. We offer elaborate food counters including LIVE and freshly made wraps, rolls, pizzas, pasta, jacket

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potatoes, waffles, tortillas, amongst many other options. Health focused items like edamame, steamed momos & corn are also on offer, as consumer preferences are now skewered towards fresh and healthy food. F&B in cinema has matured to a level where mushroom and pesto sandwiches, grilled peppers caramelized onion in focaccia and caprese sandwich have replaced the typical paneer, chutney or cheese sandwich. How different is the Group' proposition in terms of ambience, services, pricing and cinematic luxuries? LIVE THE MOVIE forms the core of our brand philosophy and it translates into everything that we do. Apart from the enhanced

technologies that provide a great cinematic experience, we have focused on F&B, service and convenience. Today, the INOX experience begins much before one reaches the box office. At a touch of a button, one can do a whole host of things, be it buying tickets or food through the INOX website or the App, scrolling through movie schedule or finding your way to the nearest INOX. Once at the cinema, guests can enter without a physical ticket by accessing the paperless ticketing service. Inside the premises, the customer is presented with the best facilities right from luxury recliners with butler call button and USB chargers to regular seats with ample leg space, plush carpets in the auditoriums and exhaustive range of F&B offerings. INOX has also introduced facilities like Q-Buster for faster service and provides ease of buying to our guests. At INOX, our ticket pricing is based on the spending propensity of our guests. We have differential or flexi pricing, which helps our audience to choose their preferred day of the week and time of the day to watch their movies at INOX. How do you look at the cinema exhibition industry in the country? From single screen to megaplexes; from four shows a day to shows starting every 30 minutes; from


• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E • countries witnessing peer-to-peer filesharing infringement worldwide. There have been numerous instances in the recent past where films have been available for download on torrent sites ahead of their theatrical releases, leading to huge losses. The issue of piracy needs to be dealt with holistically in collaboration with all stakeholders of the industry and law enforcement agencies at large. A stringent legal framework to protect copyright and tackle infringement is imperative to minimize damage to the future growth of the film industry.

analogue projectors to high-end DCI compliant, HFR (High Frame Rate) ready projection systems; from the days of cold drinks in glass bottles to the sophisticated dispensing machines of today; from rodents running all over inside the theatre to 5 star hygiene of washrooms; from standing in long queues at the ticket counters to the convenience of accessing the Box Office on one's phone; from watching movies under a fan to having theatres which are centrally temperature controlled; from popcorn in plastic bags to flavoured and freshly popped ones; from vinyl flooring to travertine marble; from loosely hanging bulbs to Belgian crystal chandeliers; cinema exhibition has come a long way. With the state-of-the-art initiatives undertaken, it is evident that the Indian cinema exhibition business is shifting towards: Convenience, Comfort and Technology. We are very bullish about the future of the movie exhibition in this country. As we all know, we are a grossly under-screened nation and there is a lot of potential for increasing the number of screens. Consumers today are very discerning and look for the best in class product and service from any service provider. India produces the highest number of movies in the world yet the country's current screen count is low. What do you think is the reason for this?

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The movie watching culture is very strong in India. We have the second highest footfalls in the world; we have the highest number of releases in the world, and still our screen density is one of the lowest! The exhibition industry is a much regulated one. High tax structure, multiple clearances for opening new cinemas and renewal of licenses of existing cinemas, piracy of even unreleased movies (which is a new trend!) and rising real estate prices are some of the impediments that are hindering the growth of the multiplex industry. Movie piracy is increasing by each passing day. What are the measures INOX has taken to curtail piracy? Piracy is a rampant issue in the Indian film industry. India is one of the top

Even while a stringent legal framework is being put in place, it is equally important to educate the youth, who are the main consumers of cinema, on the adverse impact of piracy on the film industry. Piracy is not only affecting the film producers but the government as well, as it is losing revenue as through tax collection. One pirated copy of a film recording uploaded on the web leads to exponential losses for producers, and others employed in the business of film making. The industry employs a large number of people, and it is dismal to see a huge chunk of the industry profits being wiped out due to piracy. We, at INOX feel it is our responsibility to educate people and make them aware about the damage to the film industry by piracy. We also ensure that our security is stringent and we take all measures to see movies are not pirated in our premises.


• INDIA PLEXING •

Mukta A2 Cinemas

Goes International

Mukta A2 Cinemas makes its presence felt on international soil with its 6-screen property in Bahrain. This is a mega leap by the cinema chain to cater to movie lovers in the Middle East. One of India's most reputed and esteemed film banners, Mukta Arts Limited has been consistently providing its audience the best of onscreen entertainment for decades. Taking the legacy ahead, Mukta A2 Cinemas, the chain provides its patrons with an unparalleled cinematic experience. After creating a mark in India with 41 screens, the chain has decided to take a mega leap to cater to cinemas lovers in the Middle East, Bahrain. In association with VKL Group, Mukta A2 Cinemas Bahrain is all set to create a benchmark by being the first Indian exhibitor to establish its foothold abroad with the launch of its property in Juffair Mall. The property in the

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• INDIA PLEXING • Kingdom of Bahrain will be launched in the presence of Subhash Ghai, Chairman and Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Pvt Ltd. The property consists of a six screens with a total seating capacity of 960 persons. The theatre will also boast of options for movies from Hollywood, Arabic and Bollywood. A state-of-theart sound system with 3D technology and projection along with Dolby Atmos and Quantum Logic 3D surround sound are a few highlights the cinema is offering its guests. The cinema offers comfortable seating such as VIP recliners, sofas and rockers and boasts of a variety of Food & Beverage options. Commenting on the development, Subhash Ghai, Chairman Mukta Arts Limited said, "It is a matter of huge pride that Mukta A2 Cinemas has opened its first property outside India in Bahrain. We are one of the first Indian exhibitors to design, conceptualize and build a theatre in a foreign country and it is a testament to the entire team and their hard work. I am delighted the company has taken this big step and I have no doubt that there are many more such steps to come in the near future." Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Limited further said, "The company has worked really hard to achieve this milestone. Mukta A2 Bahrain will be a flagship property in the Middle East and will showcase the best of English, Indian and Arabic cinema for our audiences. The team has worked really hard to ensure we have met international standards of quality with this cinema and we will match these global standards in our delivery every single day to the patrons. It's the first of a larger plan for Mukta A2 in the Gulf region and more such properties will be on the horizon." Sohil Kapadia, Principal Architect, MnS Designs said, "Taking our long term association with Mukta A2 Cinemas across borders, we at MnS

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Designs are proud to be the executors of yet another high-end cinema property, setting new standards for multiplexes in Bahrain. Considering the cultural mix of Bahrain, the designs were kept in line with postmodern concepts, which strongly reflect in the architecture. The property is an outcome of tremendous team effort, and we are excited to take our partnership with Mukta A2 Cinemas further by executing more such exciting project concepts, both within India and abroad." With its existing properties and robust plans of forthcoming launches, Mukta A2 Cinemas is all geared up to entertain its patrons with the best of movie experiences. The cinema brand has planned a 360 degree marketing campaign across all platforms, one of which will be signing on with Coca Cola as an exclusive beverage partner for the property. Mukta A2 Cinemas has seen a tremendous response Pan India from screens like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Gulbarga, Vishakhapatnam, Banswara, Sailu, Hyderabad, Sangli, Bhopal Kundli, Rajpipla, Dehradun, Panvel and Aurangabad which has further strengthened Mukta A2 Cinemas' resolve to provide an enriching movie-watching experience to its audiences across cities in India and now abroad.

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• INDIA PLEXING •

GK Cinemas

Pride of Porur From a touring talkies in 1970s to a rebranded plush 2-screen multiplex in 2016, GK cinemas, the erstwhile Gopalakrishna Theatre, is an unmatched landmark in the cinematic history of Porur in Chennai. Pioneers in Talkies Flashback to 1974: Porur was a littleknown village in the outskirts of the erstwhile Madras. Yet to be upgraded to town Panchayat, the hamlet lacked even proper roads. This was the time PV Janardhanan nurtured and materialised his dream of starting a cinema. It all began with a touring talkies called Gopalakrishna Theatre. With a cherished ambition to make it big in the show business, he later went to build a theatre and it took almost two years to finish the work. "Our theatre was started as touring talkies that is known as semipermanent theatre, which used to be very common in villages. Even that required a huge amount of money in those times. It was a great risk for our grandfather, and everyone advised him against doing so. But he was very clear in his mind. He slowly

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converted the talkies into a permanent theatre. Another interesting fact about the old theatre was the projector and film rolls. Kids simply loved watching the rewinding of the roll. Each time a new film arrived inside the box, the

excitement it generated, is something this generation will never know," reminisce Ruban and Vijay Mathivanan, the grandsons of PV Janardhanan. They are the Executive Director and MD of GK Cinemas respectively.


• INDIA PLEXING • Not many Chennaites are aware of the fact that the cinema is one of the oldest in the city. It remained second run (shifting centre) until 2006. "Back then movies used to run for 150-200 days. And our theatre was a shifting centre, which means we screened the movie only on its 50th day or 100th day depending upon the movie's stature and distributor. In many instances we had screened few movies on 100th day and it still ran two houseful weeks," informs Ruban.

1974 FLASHBACK

Gopalakrishna Rebranded As time progressed, they realised the potential for a good theatre in Porur. Only after 2010, the theatre started releasing movies and in the year 2014, they installed AC and upgraded their sound system, which increased their business manifold. "In 2016, we decided to convert the single screen theatre into a 2-screen multiplex with plush interiors and state-of-the-art technology such as Dolby Atmos and 2K projection... and here we are now proudly running GK Cinemas (rebranded)," say Ruban and Vijay. The cinema is equipped with comfortable pushback-enabled seating and is fully air-conditioned. The theatre has ample car and twowheeler parking and the canteen serves fresh and quality food. It's a cinema hall that redefines moviegoing experience. You will be spoilt for choice with a wide selection of short eats and beverages that are not only scrumptious but also served in hygienic conditions. The menu selection offers a range of irresistible combos too. The menu undergoes regular revisions to surprise your taste buds. They have also revamped their canteen facilities to deliver quick service and the staff ensures you enjoy the services all times. "In our 2-screen multiplex, we have all the state-of-the-art technologies such as Dolby Atmos sound system, 2K projection, 3D equipped Silver screen and all other basic amenities with ample parking space and online

During the inaugural in 1974

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• INDIA PLEXING •

"Installing Dolby Atmos for GK Cinemas has been a satisfying experience. During the recently held Big Cine Expo by TheatreWorld magazine, many cinema owners who visited Porur, were all praise of our installation. It has undoubtedly taken the audiences' movie-viewing experience to next level." – GM Giri - Partner, GM Audio Technics

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• INDIA PLEXING • booking of tickets and food and beverages," inform Ruban and Vijay. "Our main USP is we keep it very simple and economical. If you take our food and beverages cost, it is one of the lowest when compared to other plexes. Because of this we are family friendly and our main customers are family people. We give utmost priority to keeping the ambience clean and pleasant for our patrons," the two inform.

Exceptional Sounds System The sound system for GK Cinemas was designed and configured by GM Giri, partner GM Audio Technics. The System is configured with 18 Sound, Italian speakers, BMS HF units and coaxial speakers. The Amplifiers are 10,000, class TD for LFs and Subs, 1200 watts class D amplifiers for the other channels.

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• INDIA PLEXING •

Ashok-Anil Multiplex

World-class Cinema at Affordable Price

Catering to the localities of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Ashok-Anil Multiplex has been providing their patrons world-class luxuries at affordable pricing. Think of Mumbai and what immediately conjures up in your mind is an image of a bustling city by the sea. Indeed, the Maximum city is made of glitzy commercial centres that form the cream of the economic

capital of India. But some localities in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) didn't enjoy the same urban amenities as their advanced counterparts until Ashok-Anil theatres happened!

If there's one cinema chain that has been catering to the MMR with bestin-class cinema, it's the good old Ashok-Anil theatres.

Veterans in Cinema Exhibition Business Established in 1971 by Mr Assandas Chanchlani, Ashok & Anil were two flourishing single-screen theatres in Ulhasnagar, Mumbai. Mr Chanchlani, a veteran in cinema exhibition, also owned Paramount (estd in 1956) and Bharat (estd in 1957) in the same locality. Both the cinemas are still running as single screens. The company also owns two single screens in Bhiwandi (Mumbai), named Apsara and Bharat theatres, which were built in the year 1985. The chain joined the multiplex bandwagon with their first 4-screen, Ashok-Anil Multiplex, on 12 December 2008 in the vicinity of Ulhasnagar, Kalyan, Dombivili, Ambernath and Badlapur. The multiplex has been recently renovated and redesigned with latest

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• INDIA PLEXING • features including 4K RealD, 3D System, Harkness Silver Screen, Plush Sofa Reclining Seats and 7.1 Digital Dolby Surround Sound. "All of this at extremely affordable rates! Being experienced in the exhibition arena, we have always believed in providing a world-class movie experience to our patrons not just via seats but also with vision and sound," says MD Anil Chanchlani, who has taken over the family business from 2000 onwards. The company is into various other business segments that include marriage halls and tyre outlets. World-class Movie Experience at Affordable Price Right from the year 1971, the cinema chain has been the first of its kind. "We were always first cinema owners to give our patrons new facilities in our city starting from Cinemascope experience to air conditioned auditorium; it was really a big thing way back in 1980s," adds Anil. The cinema chain also continued to upgrade with sound system from time to time with latest technology such as

4-track stereo sound, ultra stereo sound, DTS stereo sound and finally Dolby 7.1. "Our mantra of business is to keep providing our patrons latest luxuries at affordable rates." Grand Celeb Visits in Hindsight The list of celebrities, who visited their cinemas, is sure to take you by surprise. Most of these stars frequently visited the cinemas to gauge the public reactions to their own films. Anil Kapoor (at time of

the release of his Woh 7 Din), Akshay Kumar (Khiladi), Shahid Kapoor (Ishq Vishq), and none other than the superstar Rajinikanth, who once visited, at the time of the release of his Hindi film Andha Kanoon. They had also hosted the premier of Rajeev Rai's Tridev, exclusively released in their cinemas two days before the worldwide release. In the pipeline: Their future plans for cinemas include 4DX, Dolby Atoms & IMAX.

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• BUSINESS TRENDS •

Pen Workers

Seating Legacy Going Strong From the swanky Le Reve in upmarket Bandra to the restored heritage, Opera House, and the renovated Anupam Theatre in a Western suburb, Pen Workers has been an integral part of the journey of these three major landmarks in Mumbai ever since their inception. With over nine decades of experience in creating and crafting customised seats for a plethora of clientele, the seating legacy is still going very strong… If there' one name that has become synonymous with seating comfort for over 92 years in India, it's none other than Pen Workers. The skill and passion for crafting seating has been nurtured in the family business for four generations! Pen Workers is by far the largest company in India to manufacture and install premium seats, exclusively for cinemas and auditoriums. Anmol Kashmiri, the fourthgeneration entrepreneur, who joined his family business in 1989, takes immense pride in the fact that Pen Workers has been the constant factor in the decades-long journeys of some of the major landmark theatres in Mumbai. And even as these cinemas get facelift with renovations and restoration, the Pen Workers seats continue to bring comfort to their patrons. "Our seats have lasted for years together! Customers who have been with us since 1930s, 40s and 50s are coming back to us. This is primarily because we continue to

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serve our clientele with the same quality and standards set by our forefathers. Our loyal customers have come back to us and we are serving them back with the same loyalty and passion." Pen Workers was established in 1924 by Munshiram Gulati, who had migrated to Mumbai the previous year from a village in what is now north-west Pakistan. His grandson, Anmol Kashmiri, heads the family

business today. The company gets its name from the quality of wood, which was called the Pen Wood, used to craft cinema hall seats back then. Having started off with a small factory in Mazagaon in south Mumbai, Pen Workers now has one factory each in the north-east and north-west of the Maximum city and a branch office in Malaysia. With over nine decades of experience in creating and crafting customised seats for a plethora of clientele hailing from a wide range of spectrum, the company continues with its legacy...

From New Talkies to SPI Cinemas' Le Reve, it's Pen Workers' Seats All the Way

Anmol Kashmiri Pen Workers

The posh queen of suburbs, Bandra is indeed one of the most happening places in the city that never sleeps. In fact, the erstwhile Bandra was one of the few suburbs that had its own English theatre, New Talkies. The


• BUSINESS TRENDS • theatre was conveniently located at a junction well within walking distance from Bandra Railway station. In the good old times, the first show was always at 4 pm with occasional matinee shows at 11 am. "Catching a movie at New Talkies was an adventure in itself," says Anmol. Started in 1975, the theatre was taken over by a businessman Rajan Raheja 1996-97. On 1 February 2002, it was renamed as Globus -- a swanky new mall-cum-multiplex. It had the customary shiny panelled float glass, dazzling lights, mesmerising window displays, neat angular parking for fancy cars. Mr Kiran Reddy, the owner of Chennai based chain of multiplex SPI Cinemas, took over the property at the end of 2015. La Reve, a new single-screen cinema in Bandra, has replaced Globus cinema. La Reve, meaning 'dream' in French, has French-inspired interiors by Chennai-

based designer Vikram Phadke. It has a capacity of 259 seats. The theatre always had seats from Pen Workers right from inception of New Talkies. Further, through the takeovers and

renovations till date, it has continued with Pen Workers seats, giving its patrons a comfortable movie watching experience.


• BUSINESS TRENDS • Heritage Association with Royal Opera House Royal Opera House, also known as Opera House in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), is India's only surviving opera house. Situated on Charni Road, near Girgaum Chowpatti beach, the Opera House was inaugurated in 1912 and was acquired in 1952 by Maharaja Bhojraj Singh of Gondal. Also, with the coming of "talkie" movies in the early 1930s, the popularity of cinema increased. In 1935, the Opera House was modified to accommodate movie screenings and fashion shows. In January 1991, the Opera House hosted its last film show. The adjective 'Royal' was prefixed to 'Opera House' to reflect the fact that its foundation stone was laid during the British Raj in 1909. The area around the theatre is also referred to as the Opera House in Mumbai. On 21 October 2016, it re-opened after a gap of 23 year.

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The seating, by Pen Workers, enabled a clear view of the stage to all the people seated in the stalls and in the Dress Circle. Right from its inception, the Royal Opera House always had Pen Workers seats, which gave its patrons an enhanced movie viewing feel. The acoustics were created by shaping the ceiling in a manner that permitted distinct audibility that allowed the audience seated in the gallery to hear every word or song from the stage. "If you look at Opera House, you'll realise, there is no project like it in Asia." Initially, in May 2001, it was noted that the Opera House was a Heritage building: The historicity of the building and its architecture will be lost if it is not used as a theatre and there should not be a change of user. In May 2008, MUHCC authorized Abha Narain Lambah and her associates to carry out the structural stabilization of the building and its restoration. Abha, the architect, considered the restoration of the Opera House as her dream project.

Comfort Seating for Miraj Anupam Theatre, One of the Oldest Single Screens Anupam Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Western Suburbs. Located very close to Goregaon station (East), the theatre started in 1970s as a single screen theatre with 850 seats. Right from the start of the theatre, Pen Workers has crafted seats for the cinema, and the legacy continues even today. In the recent times, the theatre was converted to 2 screens having 500 push-back seats, made by Pen Workers. Well, what sets Pen Workers a class apart from the rest? Anmol asserts: "Pen Workers provide a 5-year warranty on products, which I think is the highest in the industry today, as nobody offers this. It was possible after we started getting everything done in-house and the production happened right in front of us. So we knew well what was being supplied and what was being sold." Kashmiri adds with pride, "As everything is done in-house it adds to a lot of value and quality, while making the production go on time, which is very critical nowadays. So that's the innovation we have done in terms of manufacturing."


ADVERTORIAL

Marching Towards Multiplex Growth Atom Consulting endeavours to assist small enterprises in need of very basic start-up requirements including government form filing, Investment etc. For small to medium sized companies, the company offers expertise in all areas of cinema operation, renovation and remodelling, marketing and management. These include: • • • • • • • •

• • • • • •

Location selection, planning and execution Architecture - Exterior, Interior and Signage boards Digital Cinema Sound services Digital Cinema Projection Acoustics Seating Arrangement 5D / 7D Cinema Setup Technology implementation support for Booking, Buying and Business Operations Business Planning F & B: Cafeteria Setup / Restaurant, Fast Food Setup Media Promotion plan - Print and Electronic media Business Network introduction Office set up

Design, Construction & Renovation The company is into planning of Auditorium, Multiplex and F&B. It always tries to keep the goals and dreams of the renovator, as well as the original builder, in mind. Therefore, the common goal is to maintain the building’s aesthetic flair while dealing with the structural

demands and budget restrictions established for your project. The company works closely with your construction/renovation team, artisans and architects to produce an end result in which all can take pride.

Equipment Selection Keeping up to date with new cinematic technology, public happy and your business in a profitable mode can be a difficult juggling act. The company’s expertise in selecting the correct concession and projection/sound equipment for your theatre can save you time and money. It is not affiliated with any specific suppliers: therefore, the company’s only goal is to assure that your facility is equipped in the most practical way possible.

Professional Business Services Selecting the correct booker/buyer for your project: A wrong decision will cost you time and money. The cinema business is very unique in many ways, familiarizing your professional team with the specific nuances of the entertainment business and establishing a professional dialog between you and them is very important. In addition, booking and buying films is the heart of the success or failure of your business.

Staff & Management Training

professional team and their dedication to your project and dreams. Film booking services are a specialized industry, and the company has the right contacts to successfully book profit-making entertainment.

Advertising & Promotion Remember those special “magic” moments you felt going to an amusement park, a special movie or a special evening out? That is precisely the feeling you want every person to feel every time they come to the facility. They should feel excited and happy the moment they come on your property! It’s easy to just open the doors, heat some popcorn and turn on the movie. Creating magic and memories is another matter indeed.

The goal is courteous, well trained; knowledgeable staffs that those in charge can be assured are representing the facility to the best of their ability!

Consultation with Booking Services The difference between profit and loss can rest with the right

Mr. G. Natraj Principal Consultant Atom Consulting Tel: +91- 98450 56073 Email: natraj@consultatom.com Skype: natrajg76

December 2016-February 2017

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• BUSINESS TRENDS •

Miraj Anupam

Redefining Film-viewing Experience Miraj Cinema’s new property in Goregaon at Anupam Mall, which is in the thick of a competitive location, is beyond doubt a class apart as the designers of the plex have created an world-class look-n-feel in the city. Right from the interiors of the theatre to the ultra luxurious seating arrangements along with best of sound enveloping and the state-of-

Amit Sharma Managing Director - Miraj Cinemas

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art 3D projectors are all bound to redefine viewer experience for sure. Its foresighted and far-sighted Managing Director Mr Amit Sharma, along with his entire management, deserves a great applause in living up to the expectations and beyond for proving the worth of its 64th screen multiplex in India’s entertainment capital, Mumbai.

The ambience of the lighting from the lobby to the auditoriums with the blend of plush materials generously splashed on the facades of the interiors reflects the gloss of the brand “Miraj” and the positive energy to serve their loyal patronage with the best of comfort without compromise. This is just the perfect spot reflecting the bonding of the


• BUSINESS TRENDS • exhibitor to its patrons and we can say... “This is just the beginning”, said Mr Sharma. The multiplex has been designed by “MNS Designs” with two separate zones of lobbies such as a true lobby with its main concessionaire and the other having a parallel eatery, serving best of gourmet menus keeping in mind mostly college going crowd. To serve this purpose, Miraj has introduced a variety of delicacies from Continental foods like pastas, spaghettis, and of course panipuri to bhelpuri from Indian street foods in its top notch food lounge ”POPCORNER” with multiplex feel. Anupam Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Western Suburbs. Located very close to Goregaon station (East), the theatre started in 1970s as a single screen theatre with 850 seats. Right from the start of the theatre, Pen Workers, with over nine decades of experience in creating customised seats, has crafted seating for the cinema, and the legacy continues even today with installing 500 pushback seats to Miraj Anupam. The ambience has achieved the perfect combination of reflective to nonreflective surfaces from glass to the Italian marbles to the woods, giving the multiplex a rich post-modern décor, appreciated by a wide array of patrons that Mumbai loves to cater to. All in all Miraj Anupam multiplex is a small package with a big explosion... which is sure to build up its loyal patrons in due course of time. With an aim to redefine movieviewing experience across nation, Mumbai-headquartered Miraj Cinemas is now having 64 screens across India and is the fifth largest multiplex player in terms of number of screens and has plans to reach 100 screens by first quarter of FY 2017-18, spreading presence in states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bihar. Started in 2012 Miraj Cinemas is now having operations in 11 states in India with a presence in 20 cities. December 2016-February 2017

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Rajiv Bhalla

The Farsighted Leader Barco, the global technology company, has a well-integrated set-up, equipped with best-in-class facilities in India. The company has won many global as well as national awards for excellence in Manufacturing, Quality & Exports of electronic/IT products. Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director for India, Barco is a seasoned technology leader with more than 22 years of cross industry experience. We talk to the man, who is a strong believer in the "Can do" approach. Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops networked visualization products for the Entertainment, Enterprise and Healthcare markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and APAC. The company posted sales of 1.029 billion euro in 2015. Rajiv Bhalla, managing director for India, Barco is a seasoned technology leader with 22+ years of cross industry exposure across organisations. He holds a Bachelor in Engineering from Mumbai University and an MBA in Marketing from the International Management Institute. He brings with him 22+ years of excellent Industry exposure having worked across consumer electronics & IT domains with deep understanding of B2B and B2C businesses. A frequent speaker at industry and B-school events, Rajiv is a strong believer in the "Can do" approach. Excerpts from our rendezvous with the man who "believes a successful leader is one who sees reality and future ahead of others." Barco has been in India for almost two decades now. How do you see its presence and evolution in the country? Barco Electronic Systems (P) Ltd is a

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100% subsidiary of Barco NV Belgium and was established in 1996 with 50 associates in Delhi. Barco has since grown in India as a market leader in its domain and earned a reputation of a hi-tech MNC in the networked visualisation space with a significant local footprint in Command and Control Centres for security & surveillance, traffic management and emergency response. Barco is also a leading brand in the Digital Cinema space. We offer a wide range of innovative, hi-tech and high-quality networked visualisation products for the Indian market, including Large Screen display solutions, Digital Cinema projectors, Hi-tech medical displays, rugged displays for professional applications. Today Barco India has a wellintegrated and established set-up of around 500 people and is equipped with facilities like R&D, software development, manufacturing, sales, customer service to support regional market. Our production capacity has grown manifold in the past years; we now manufacture hi-tech products for both national as well as for global markets in state-of-art factory in compliance with all the international safety and quality norms. The Manufacturing plant is certified for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & AS 9100 for PCBA process. Manufactured products are compliant with international norms like UL, Cebec, CE, CCC etc.

Barco India has a 14,400m2 facility that also houses a demo centre and a customer support centre. Barco India is headquartered in Noida with Manufacturing, R&D, Software Lab besides Sales and Marketing divisions operating out of the Noida office. Apart from Noida, there are offices in Mumbai and Bangalore and customer support in Kolkata and Ahmedabad. We have won many global as well as national awards for excellence in Manufacturing, Quality & Exports of electronic/IT products. Barco has installed its systems in almost all prestigious organizations in India. Be it a public sector unit or a private sector company, Barco has made its presence felt everywhere. A few names to mention are: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Delhi International Airport Ltd., Cairn India, Aeronautical Development Establishment, INOX, Sathyam Cinemas, Cinepolis, Prasad Labs, Fortis Hospital, SevenHills hospital, Medanta Hospital, Hinduja hospital, Mumbai City Surveillance, National Center of Science Museum,


• BUSINESS TRENDS • Indus Tower, Rapid Metro Gurgaon Limited, Capita IT Services, Reliance, Delhi Police, Chennai Metro, DIAL100. Following our corporate philosophy, we continuously strive to excel in Customer Service, Technology & Operational Excellence domain in whatever we do. How has the ratio of Barco's business in cinema and noncinema segments changed in India over a period of years? How important is cinema in its overall business today? Barco is the global technology and market leader in cinema with over 55,000 screens lit. Barco was the first to demonstrate and commercialize 55k+ lumen cinema projectors. It is now the leader in laser cinema with more than 100 flagship systems deployed in over 20 countries enabling the twin benefits of unprecedented image quality and dramatically reduced operating costs. The trend continues in India and Barco is increasing its cinema install base year on year. The ratio is 75% Cinema for Barco compared to 25% for non-cinema segments which includes business and event projectors. Can you throw some light on Barco's latest offerings, Laser Projectors and Escape, in India? Barco latest offering - the laser projector -- consist of four models. The DP4K-60L, DP4K-45L, DP4K-30L, and DP4K-22L generate stunning brightness levels up to 56000 lumens and bring superior image quality to every theatre. Barco laser projectors deliver exceptional image quality with outstanding 2D & 3D brightness, contrast, and superior colour performance will simplify your operations and reduce your operating expenses. Barco Escape is a unique, immersive, irreplaceable theatrical experience which offers multi-screen, panoramic movie format for ultimate immersive cinema experience. Barco Escape is

working hand in hand with today's top studios and filmmakers to create projects that offer audiences an unmatched immersive viewing experience - only available in theatres. We are also developing exciting alternative content and event programming opportunities to fill theatres during off-peak hours. The gap between ticket sales and ticket prices has widened. Online video has grown and will grow further. Studios and exhibitors realize that cinemas must deliver a compelling experience that can be enjoyed in the cinema. "Barco Escape is the answer" We are working on both the technology solutions in India and you would be witnessing them soon. Given the Central Government's focus on Smart Cities, Digital India and Make in India, what is the future of Digital Cinema in India. How is Barco placed in this regard? Traditionally, movies were shot on analogue prints and physically distributed to various theatres. Now with the help of digital transformation, life has become easier and much faster in the cinema world. Digital Cinema has a great future in the country like India which has a huge potential and also where people love to watch movies. India is underscreened with just 1 screen per 96,300 residents. The US by contrast has 1 screen per 7800 residents. China which until recently was even less saturated than India, has been on a cinema building binge and now has 1 screen per 45000 residents. Digital cinema is the way forward, with the help of digital cinema we will be able to remove the duplication cost; transportation cost can be replaced by much lower transmission cost, and larger number of theatres can now view simultaneously. We at Barco work for the future and since long we have been manufacturing DCI projectors for the cinema market. Digital cinema is the

future in India and with collaboration with our esteemed partners in India we plan to provide latest state of the art cinema technologies to this movie loving nation. Tell us more about your authorized dealer, distributors and service centres. Barco India is very much active in Cinema, Corporate, Venues and Attractions, Simulation, Retail & Advertising, Automotive, Education and Government sector providing AV solutions. Barco always make sure that our distributors and partners are welltreated and have the latest updates from our products. They are our medium to talk and make our brand felt in the core of the event and experiential marketing industry. For Cinema, our authorised partner is M/s Real Image Media Technologies; for Corporate it is M/s Ceeco; and for Pro AV it is M/s Green Sources. All our partners possess a fleet of engineers certified by Barco. The complete spares and service management across platforms is being handled from our main service hub at Noida followed by service centres at Bangalore and Mumbai. With your extensive business experience, how do you aim to expand Barco's presence in India? Barco is a strong player in the networked visualization space. I believe that Barco is uniquely poised for growth by addressing opportunities aligned with the Govt of India's focus on Smart cities, Make in India and Digital India. I plan to utilise my cross industry experience and exposure to different cultural environments to better leverage in developing country specific Go-toMarket modules and localized product offerings. I also look at developing a strong partner ecosystem and a motivated team that will help Barco scale in India. Ultimately, I believe that a successful leader is one who sees reality and future before it becomes evident to everyone else.

December 2016-February 2017

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TheatreMagic ::: December16-February 2017  
TheatreMagic ::: December16-February 2017  

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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