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Playing National Anthem in Cinema Halls Optional, says Supreme Court The Supreme Court made the playing of national anthem in cinema halls before screening of movies optional, modifying its earlier order. The apex court modified its November 30, 2016 order by which it had made the playing of the anthem mandatory in cinema halls before the screening of a film. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said a 12-member inter-ministerial committee, set up by the Centre, would take a final call on the issue. The Centre's decision had come after the top court had in October last year observed that the people "cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their sleeves" and it cannot be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, he or she is "less patriotic". The court had then said that next time, "the government will want people to stop wearing T-shirts and shorts to cinemas saying this would disrespect the national anthem. "The Bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the committee should comprehensively look into all the aspects relating to the playing of national anthem and allowed the petitioners to make representations before the panel. The bench, while disposing of the petitions pending before it, made it clear that the exemption granted earlier to disabled persons from standing in the cinema halls when the national anthem is being played, shall remain in force till the committee takes a decision. The top court accepted the government's affidavit which said the 12-member panel has been set up to suggest changes in the 1971 Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench that the committee will submit its report within six months. The Centre had yesterday told the apex court that an inter-ministerial committee has been set up as extensive consultations were needed for framing of guidelines

describing the circumstances and occasions on which the national anthem is to be played or sung and observance of proper decorum on such occasions. The government had said that the top court may "consider the restoration of status quo ante until then, that is restoration of the position as it stood before the order passed by this court on November 30, 2016" as it mandated the playing of the anthem in cinemas before a feature film starts. The interministerial committee headed by Additional Secretary (Border Management), Ministry of Home Affairs, with representatives from various other ministries, including the Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Culture, Woman and Child Development and Parliamentary Affairs. It would also have representatives of the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting and Minority Affairs, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of School Education and Literacy and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, the affidavit filed by Centre said. The apex court had on October 24 last year observed that people do not need to stand up in the cinema halls to prove their patriotism and had asked the Centre to consider amending the rules for regulating playing of the national anthem in the theatres. "People go to cinema halls for undiluted entertainment. Society needs entertainment. We cannot allow you (Centre) to shoot from our shoulders.

People do not need to stand up in cinema halls to prove their patriotism," the bench had said. "Desireability is one thing but making it mandatory is another. Citizens cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their sleeves and courts cannot inculcate patriotism among people through its order," it had said. The court's strong remarks had come during the hearing on a PIL filed last year by Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking a direction that the national anthem be played in all cinema halls before the start of screening of a film. The apex court had in its November 30, 2016, order said that "love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag". It had also barred printing of the anthem or a part of it on any object and displaying it in such a manner at places which may be "disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect". Passing a slew of directions, the court had said that fundamental duties in the Constitution "do not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights that have individual thought, have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible". It had also said proper norms and protocol should be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present.

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Why Can't Filmgoers Take Outside Food to Theatres: HC to Maharashtra Govt The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to file a reply to a PIL challenging the prohibition on carrying outside food into movie theatres and multiplexes across the state. The court asked when security guards frisk the public entering cinema halls and check their bags, what was the need to keep all their food items and force them to purchase food from theatres. A bench of Justices R M Borde and Rajesh Ketkar directed the state government to inform the court within three weeks, of the rationale behind such a prohibition that is currently imposed by most of the cinema theatres, and also whether it was in accordance with the law or not. The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the case was filed by city resident JainendraBaxi through his lawyer AdityaPratap. The plea claimed there was no legal or statutory provision prohibiting one from carrying personal food articles or water inside movie theatres. Pratap also told the court that the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules prohibit hawking and selling food inside theatres and auditoriums." This rule is openly flouted by cinema halls with several stalls selling food and beverages. New theatres also have buttons right on the seats of viewers that enable them to call for a waiter, order food, and have the same delivered right at their seats," the lawyer said. The restrictions on bringing outside food to theatres particularly affected senior citizens and those who cannot eat, for medical reasons, "the junk food sold at the food stalls inside theatres," the petition read. The PIL claims that the only concern for theatre owners, managing authorities and the state must be to ensure that no safety or security rule is breached by the public visiting such halls. The HC bench also remarked that the primary concern

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of the security staff at theatres should be to frisk the public for any unauthorised or dangerous possessions. "You have metal detectors to check for unauthorised or dangerous possessions such as knives and arms. The guards also frisk the public entering the theatres, check their purses and bags, then what is the need to remove all their food items and ask them to purchase food items from the theatres?" the bench asked. Advocate Pratap suggested that licences issued by the state to such theatres must have a mandatory clause directing them against banning any outside food or water. The high court directed the state to also consider the suggestions made by the petitioner and clarify its position in this regard in its reply.

Galalite Reinventing Imagination Leaders in cinema screen technologies, Galalite, recently unveiled its marketing campaign for 2018. The campaign reiterates the company's place in the forefront of innovation in the cinema screen industry. While staying true to their roots, Galalite stands for the future, breaking new ground in screen technology with products that are smarter and more progressive. The campaign headline says "Reinventing Imagination", because ever since 1959, Galalite has

consistently focused on setting benchmarks for the cinema screen industry by having put their imaginations into implementations. And clearly, they don't intend to stop growing, inventing and reinventing their imaginations to give us a magical cinema-viewing experience. Speaking on the occasion, Yusuf S Galabhaiwala (Director of Operations) said, "At Galalite, forward-thinking and innovativeness have been our motto since generations. With a vision to transform movie-viewing experiences around the world, we go beyond the present and into the future of cinema screens. This campaign showcases how we constantly reinvent our products to make them the best-in-class choice that is ahead of trends".

Priyanka Chopra is HARMAN's Global Brand Ambassador HARMAN International, a whollyowned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced that actress, singer, producer and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra has been named a global brand ambassador for the company's JBL and Harman Kardon audio brands. Chopra will participate in a series of marketing initiatives including social media and brand awareness events for JBL and Harman Kardon. As ambassador of these


brands, Chopra will walk the red carpet at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala Salute to Industry Icons with other luminaries as part of this weekend's Grammy celebration. HARMAN is the official sound of the Grammys and a recipient of three technical awards for its JBL, AKG and Lexicon brands. "Priyanka Chopra is the epitome of a barrier-breaking performer, bringing her iconic style and grace to everything that she does, from her award-winning entertainment career to her philanthropic work, and reaching fans all over the world," said Ralph Santana, Chief Marketing Officer of HARMAN. "She is a force to be reckoned with and we look forward to working with her to develop innovative and engaging collaborations for our audio brands that are truly unique and first of their kind." After being crowned Miss World, Chopra made her foray into the entertainment industry and soon catapulted to international stardom. In 2015, Chopra made her American TV debut, making history as the first Indian actress to headline the lead role in an U.S. television series, starring in ABC's Quantico. She was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2017. Chopra is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is also involved in a number of philanthropic efforts to promote gender equality and the health and education of children around the world. "Music brings the world together. It defies boarders, colors and norms, often bridging cultures, genders, and generations," said Priyanka Chopra. "Songs often become symbols of moments throughout our lives, encouraging, inspiring, empowering, and at times, healing us. I've long admired the sophistication of Harman Kardon and vibrant energy of JBL, and am honored to be collaborating with such iconic brands." Chopra joins a diverse roster of HARMAN brand ambassadors from

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music, sports and entertainment, including American multi-platinum performing artist Demi Lovato; prolific musician, producer and humanitarian Quincy Jones; Indian music mogul Dr. A. R. Rahman, world-renowned pianist, educator and philanthropist Lang Lang, 201516 NBA Kia Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry; NBA All-Star and musician Damian Lillard; and soccer star Jerome Boateng, among others. HARMAN's ambassador team reflects the brand's continued emphasis on forging unique and integrated partnerships that reach deeply into culture.

'VikramVedha', 'Baahubali 2' Among IMDb's Top-10 Indian Films of 2017

R Madhavan-starrer crime thriller VikramVedha and Baahubali 2 have been voted by the viewers as IMDb's top Indian movies of 2017.The third movie in the list is ArjunReddy.

Bollywood makes an appearance on the fourth spot with Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar. It is followed by Hindi Medium, The Ghazi Attack, Toilet - EkPrem Katha and Jolly LLB 2. Tamil film Mersal and The Great Father complete the top10 list on the website. These 10 films had the highest ratings by IMDb users. "Fans worldwide demonstrated interest in a diverse set of Indian movies, from VikramVedha to 'The Great Father'. It is interesting to note that films based on classics and mythology, as well as those based on contemporary issues, emerged as the two prominent themes of 2017," said Neha Gureja, IMDb's Head of Audience Development. "Sociallyconscious movies such as Secret Superstar, Hindi Medium, Toilet Ek Prem Katha and Mersal resonated among users," Gureja said.

Mukta A2 Cinema Expands Presence in South India Mukta A2 Cinemas has been providing its audience with the best of on-screen entertainment since inception. Taking this legacy forward, Mukta A2 Cinemas has launched five single screens at Gangavathi, Tandur, Nizamabad, Sadashivpeth and Kothagude, in association with the South's Asian Cinemas. With this, Mukta A2 Cinemas marks the completion of 57 screens globally. The reputed chain of cinemas will also be soon expanding the brand's footprint by launching 5 other single screens by April 2018 in the southern market. Through its collaboration with Asian Cinemas, Mukta A2 Cinemas intends to deliver an outstanding movieviewing experience to their audiences in the South. Asian Cinemas in a very short span of time have marked their presence in the industry as well as in the audience's hearts. The Hyderabad based Media and Entertainment Company owns a


chain of multiplexes and cineplexes across South India especially Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Commenting on the occasion Mr Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Limited said, "We are delighted to have joined hands with one of the biggest cinema brands of the South, the Asian Cinemas; and work towards our shared brand purpose of delivering a world-class experience to our patrons. Mukta A2 Cinemas has swiftly reached the 57screen mark and we look forward to bringing over 100 cinemas under the banner. The goal is to deliver an outstanding movie-going experience to a varied demographic across regions. This first phase of expansion in the Southern markets is one of the many steps in that direction." Mukta A2 Cinemas is now successfully operating in 15 cities making a PAN India presence to cater to the myriad needs of the movie buffs across the country. The company has recently launched its 1st property in Middle East at Juffair Mall, Bahrain with six screens and a seating capacity of 960 people.

PVR Forays into International Market Leading multiplex operator PVR is scouting overseas destinations for expansion and plans to open its first project in Sri Lanka in next two years, a top company official has said. Besides Sri Lanka, the Gurgaon-based firm is also looking for other neighbouring countries like Myanmar and other emerging markets for its overseas expansion. "We are opening in Sri Lanka, it's not a massive foray but it's still outside the shores of India. We are opening there in 24 months. Two properties are there in Colombo," said PVR Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Bijli. The company is studying other global film exhibition markets presently and will decide entering a

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particular geography only after it finds that PVR will have differential offering and experience and add value to it, he said. "We are looking at some other countries but again I would say that we really want to examine and study the country before we enter," said Bijli who has received 'Exhibitor of the year' Award at Cine Asia 2017 here last week. Recently, PVR had announced the acquisition of a minority stake in US-based luxury restaurant and theatre company iPic Gold Class Entertainment, a move that will give PVR exposure in the US market. "It would be great learning for us to bring some of the best practices into our luxury cinema format, which we want to expand in India. It is a small stake but huge R&D and learning," said Bijli. PVR, which currently operates 600 screens in 51 cities in the domestic market, is aiming to have an annual foot fall of 100 million in next two years and to have around 1,000 screens by 2022. About investments, Bijli said: "If you take an average of 2 to 2.5 crore per screen and we do 80 screens over a year, it would be 160 to 170 crore of investment. If you add refurbishment and technical upgradation as we are putting 4DX, Atmos, Imax, PXL, roughly it would be 200-250 crore". The company will also pursue its inorganic growth if it "gets right value and right fit". PVR is also coming out with a subbrand to cater the small tier II & III markets as part of its strategy to serve the consumer at every price point. "We would be announcing it shortly... We would be rolling it out at much lesser price point in smaller cities which do not have enhanced cinema experience," Bijli said. The

company has also started its own cinema format PXL, which has big screens besides other features, to cater the regional cinemas on big screens with enhanced experience. Over the challenges from video ondemand platforms, which are now providing original contents to their viewers in a lesser time frame of two to six weeks of theatrical releases, Bijli said that model is not viable for a longer period. "The way movies are made today, 60 per cent revenue come from theatrical, we think that it's a very short term strategy to bypass the theatrical window and straight away move to other platforms," he said. The company is collaborating with the studios and content suppliers to find a solution for this. "We are confident that we will find the solution which is acceptable and practical for all stakeholders," said PVR Chief of Strategy PVR Kamal Gianchandani. Bijli said that in the mature markets, as in UK and the US, a three month window is still maintained between theatrical release and others, and hinted it to be followed here.

PVR to Invest 70 cr to Build 21 4DX Screens by 2019

Leading multiplex operator PVR will increase the count of its 4DX screens to 21 by investing around $11 million ( 70 crore) in the next two years, said a top company official. The Gurgaon-based company today signed a deal with South Korea's CJ 4DPLEX at Cine Asia 2017 to add 16 more screens as it is ramping up offering in the premium segment in


metro markets. The 4DX features include effects of motion, wind, lighting, fog, rain, snow, rain storm and scents. It also offers a complete visual, aural, olfactory and tactile experience to cinema viewing. "We would be investing $11 million on 4DX and we really hope that this technology can really take a giant step towards making a new market for itself and getting more and more consumers back into the cinemas," said Mr. Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Cinemas. The average investment will be around 3.5 crore per screen. The company said it can leverage technology by way of a higher average ticket price. "If the average ticket price for the same content playing in a standard screen is about Rs 100, at 4DX, the ticket prices could be in the range of 250-300," Dutta added. The new screens will come to existing metro markets and smaller locations such as Ludhiana and Chandigarh. PVR is operating three screens in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and two are in the process of retrofitting in other cities by the end of this year. "PVR will add 16 more 4DX screens at its cinemas, taking the total to 21 4DX auditoriums in India by the end of 2019," the company said. CJ 4DPLEX CEO Byun H Choi said: "It is a meaningful event for us that the largest cinema exhibitor in India recognised 4DX as pioneer of the innovative cinema technologies." Started in 1997, PVR currently operates 600 screens in 51 cities. It had a revenue of Rs 2,002.01 crore in 2016-17.

PVR Challenges Entertainment Tax Issues in Allahabad High Court The PVR group moved the Allahabad High Court over the issue of subsuming entertainment tax into the goods and services tax (GST).

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The PVR group argued that the Uttar Pradesh government promised to allow multiplexes and cine malls to retain a portion of entertainment tax for five years, on the basis of investments. But the assurance was broken after the tax was subsumed into GST. "We have challenged the subsuming of entertainment tax into GST to the extent that the corresponding benefit of retention of tax is not granted in the GST regime," Abhishek Rastogi, the counsel of PVR group, said.

Actor Ajay Devgn to Launch His Own Multiplex Chain

Ajay Devgn is all set to make the big debut soon. Yes, you heard it right! The established and successful Hindi actor, who has been entertaining the audiences for more than 25 years, is now gearing up for a debut in film exhibition business. He will be launching his own chain of multiplexes across India very soon. The actor recently acquired six single screens in Uttar Pradesh and plans to convert them into multiplexes. The new multiplex chain will be launched under the brand name NY Cinemas (inspired by the initials of his children, Nysa and Yug). He also has plans to buy about 100 screens across the country. Ajay is riding high on the success of the Rohit Shetty-directed Golmaal Again, which is the year's first Hindi film to hit the 200-crore mark. The actor is also simultaneously shooting for Raj Kumar Gupta's Raid in Lucknow.

AP & Telangana Sort Out with DSPs The indefinite strike by the Telugu Film Joint Action Committee (JAC) was called off. The JAC had discussions with the Digital Service Providers (DSPs), including Qube, UFO, PXD and K Sera Sera, and decided to resume the screening of regional films. Some theatres, however, opened earlier with the release of the Vijay Deverakondastarrer Ye Mantram Vesave in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “The issues have all been sorted out and the strike has been called off in the Telugu states. The screening of films will resume with the screening of new releases,” said D Suresh Babu, Convener of the JAC. The veteran producer expressed happiness over the agreement reached between both the parties over VPF (Virtual Print Fee) charges. “We are happy with the rate revision. On an average, the DSPs have agreed to reduce the charges by 19-21 per cent. However, for some films, it may go up to 22 per cent. The flat rate which was earlier capped at ‘22,500 has been reduced to ‘20,000. We have categorised the digital cinema rate into several slots depending on their run on a full, weekly and slide basis. The tariff will vary for big films, small films, and also for the rerun of old films. These rates will be effective from April 1 owing to the accounting practices of the DSPs. Within one or two weeks, we will finalise the official rate card. We are also pushing for certain other conditions, details of which we will be shared soon.” Suresh Babu said the DSPs had also agreed to their demands of confining on-screen advertising to 10 minutes and to screening two trailers with the main film without charging extra money. As on March 20, 2018, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are still in negotiation and are not agreeing with the discounts given to JAC.


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Mahasakthi Talkies

Selling Happiness with Every Ticket! The journey of Mahasakthi Talkies is no less than a film script! It's a story of relentless pursuit and undulating passion to keep the light of this cinema glowing against all odds. With the earnest efforts of M Karthi, the third generation theatre owner, Mahasakthi Talkies has been transformed incredibly from the once dilapidated state to a fully air-conditioned facility that proudly welcomes family audience in Ariyalur today.

Dubbed as the Cement city of Tamil Nadu, Ariyalur is also known as a mining town, situated 60 km from Trichy and 270 km south of Chennai. Famous for its rich limestone reserves and surrounded by 10 cement factories, Ariyalur has had its share of the vintage era of touring theatre.

In the Times of Mobile Theatre... Once upon a time, OP Muthiah Pillai of the famed Laila Pictures, a leading distribution company (estd. 1942) ran

a touring cinema. The Cinema was later built as a permanent structure in 1982 by his son M Mahalingam, who named it Sakthi Theatre. After the demise of Mahalingam in January 2000, his son M Karthi, a third generation theatre owner, runs the only cinema in town, along with mother Rajini as the Licensee. "It was an uphill task operating the business with the weekly compounding tax regime in those days. Outdated film projectors and competition for the film box further escalated the costs," reveals Karthi.

In 2006, Sakthi Theatre was renamed Mahasakthi Talkies in the memory of M Mahalingam. The occasion coincided with the release of the movie Sivaji, The Boss. The movie was a landmark film for the theatre as well as for Ariyalur town. It was the first movie to witness both regional and global release simultaneously and ran a full 100 days in the theatre.

"Epitome of Success"

M Karthi and his mother Mrs Rajini Mahalingam

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On January 11, 2007, Karthi received the "100 days shield" award from none other than the superstar Rajinikanth himself! Karthi describes this as an "epitome of success" and recognition for all the years of sweat and pain in keeping the "lights of cinematic hope" on for a theatre, which was so passionately run by his father and grandfather.


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In January 2008, with UFO, it became the first digital cinema in TrichyThanjavur (TT) area, screening the movie Bheema, doing away with old film roll projectors. It was also the first cinema in TT area to have online ticket booking in tie up with the then ticketing platform Films "N" Tickets launched by Francis Adaikalraj.

Govt Order that Came as a Blessing For any cinema to stand firm and flourish in the trade, it requires a sound framework of government regulations, orders and endorsements. After facing several challenges in the industry and selling tickets at impractical rates such as INR 20 and 30, the Government Order on October 16, 2017 came as a real blessing. Optimizing the rates of admissions to contemporary costs opened up a new vista for Mahasakthi Talkies.

14-year-old Dream Realised in 14 Days Ideas that incubated in the heart for 14 years seemed to find a foothold in

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reality. "We tabled the papers for necessary approvals, worked out a project summary and costs and completed the required paper work," says Karthi. "From 1st week of December 2017 we marshalled all the resources and mobilized the necessary materials from Pune, Bhiwandi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai and made available at theatre site in a month," he adds. On January 1, 2018, 10 pm, Mahasakthi Talkies screened Velaikaran as a non-AC theatre for

one last time! January 2, 2018 heralded the renovation work: "We changed the flooring, seats, ceiling, wall panelling, electrical lines and cabin. We've installed 44 ton AC unit and ran its duct through the 50x100 ft auditorium over the ceiling, upgraded stage and surround speakers with new speakers and added a channel for roof surround, and mounted the silver screen with respect to the inside of the auditorium," he explains. Arrangements have also been made for the ease and convenience of physically challenged.


• INDIA PLEXING • On the exterior, the entire 10000 sqft plus area is paved with paver blocks; covering the parking lot and the entire approach from the road to the auditorium. The audience is treated to a new and enriching experience of movie-watching in this town. Driven by perseverance and sheer hard work, Karthi is personally involved in each and every painstaking task right from installing speakers to seating and interiors. "Getting your hands dirty is the only way to getting things done. Our 14year-old dream was realised in those 14 days, which had no nights for sleep or rest! Our mantra is "Maghizlvithu Maghil" (meaning "Happiness through entertainment") - Selling happiness with every ticket! On January 16th 2018, 6 pm, Mahasakthi Talkies re-emerged as an air-conditioned Cinema, with screening of the movie Thaana Serntha Kootam. "Destiny chose this date as it happens to be my father's 18th death anniversary," says Karthi, recalling the play of unforeseen circumstances and unexpected turn of events that led to this coincidence.

Motivating the Family Audience Operating in a semirural area, where drinking is a social concern, Mahasakthi Talkies often faces many challenges. While most women and families are happy being confined to homes and glued to their television sets for entertainment, many drunken menfolk seek a place to hang out in cinema halls. Not withstanding the fate of footfalls, Karthi has taken a stand to detain the drunken at the gate. Assuring a safe and secure cinema hall for families, Karthi urges them to step out of their homes to appreciate and experience films in the company of their loved ones.

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Bharath Cinemas

The Perfect Place to Unwind in Manipal

After its successful forays in Mangalore and Shivamogga, Bharath Cinemas launches its third property in Karnataka and first in Manipal. The young and dynamic denizens of the town will now be treated to a splendid movie experience by the cinema chain.

One of the most cosmopolitan towns of India, Manipal is home to Manipal Academy of Higher Education, which attracts over 45,000 students from across India and worldover every year. The town is situated in Udupi district, the coastal part of Karnataka. With the celebrated cinema chain, Bharath Cinemas launching its third property in the state and first in Manipal, the young and dynamic population of the town will now be treated to a splendid movie experience.

Treating moviegoers to International Standards Bharath Cinemas brings the state-ofthe-art experience to the audience of Manipal, Udupi, which is exposed to international and cosmopolitan standards. The first multiplex in the districts of South Kanara and Udupi, Bharath Cinemas is equipped with Dolby Atmos surround sound system coupled with brightest images with vibrant 3D enabled screens powered by GETD. With its aesthetically designed interiors and lively audis, this 4-screen multiplex is all set to

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find a special space in the hearts of enthusiastic moviegoers. The 4 screens have a total seating capacity of 519 with 36 recliners. With 2K Christie projection and 52 channel DOLBY ATMOS, 3D projection and Dolby 7.1 sound installed for an unmatched cinema experience, it is the best-in-class experience. With push back seats & recliners and delightful food choices, the film-viewing experience goes

Bala Shetty Director - Bharath Cinemas


• INDIA PLEXING • one notch up. Harkness-Claris xc270 with 2.7gain silver screen is fitted in all screens for state-of-the-art bright and sharp image quality.

Immense Scope with First Mover Advantage Bala Shetty and Anand Pai, Directors, Bharath Cinemas (Cineplex Pvt Ltd) said: "With first mover advantage in Manipal, the educational hub with cosmopolitan student community along with good catchment areas, Bharath Cinemas has immense scope for good footfalls and collections." Spread around 20,000 sq.ft. of space in Canara Mall, the multiplex is located in the heart of Manipal a convenient and central place, which is a unique entertainment destination with a fantastic mix of offerings. The four-storied mall offers wide range of shopping, cinema and entertainment facilities. It's a perfect place for exclusive movie watching experience and a great place for gettogether & parties. "To match our perfect ambiance in the auditoriums and grand lobby, our cafe counters are managed by experienced staff keeping in mind the best comfort of our guests," explained Bala Shetty.

A Complete Cinema Experience Bharath Group, led by its Directors (Ananth G. Pai, Anand G. Pai, Nagendra D. Pai, Subraya M. Pai, Sudhir M. Pai & Venkatesh M. Pai), has

Directors of Bharath Group (from L to R) : Venkatesh M Pai, Anand G Pai, Nagendra D Pai, Subraya M Pai, Ananth G Pai and Sudhir M Pai

an illustrious business history with successful forays into Construction/ Realty, Automobiles, Finance & Investment, Printing & Stationery, Retail, Lifestyle and Entertainment. The cinema chain believes in promoting not just the Bollywood & Hollywood films but regional films too. It is expanding from Tier 2 cities to smaller towns/cities to create a more wide spread reach for the company. Their website and mobile app make the cinema experience easier and convenient. The Cinemas

makes an effort to create a complete experience for the guests, right from the time they buy the ticket till they exit the premises. The Cinemas will also have wide variety of F&B, including extensive range of food options. There's a lots more exciting offerings in the pipeline from Bharath Cinemas. In September 2018, the Cinemas is expected to launch a 4-screen multiplex in Kundapur (Udupi) and another 3-screen multiplex in Puttur in April 2019.

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The Entertainment Park

Ticket to Relaxation!

With best-in-class movie experience, food, fun and leisure, The Entertainment Park multiplex has become a major amusement hub in the city of Bhavnagar.

Once the capital of the Princely Bhavnagar State, the city of Bhavnagar in Gujarat was founded in 1724 by Bhavsinhji Gohil. It has always been an important centre for trade. With the world's largest ship breaking yard, Alang, located 50 km away, the city is home to many large and small scale industries along. Its commercial importance is enhanced owing to its proximity to the Gulf of Cambay and the Arabian Sea.

World-class Entertainment The entertainment industry is always one of the pioneers in setting is firm

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footing in cities that hold immense growth potential. Launched in October 2017, The Entertainment Park multiplex at Bhavnagar is a good example. With quality movie entertainment, food, fun and leisure, the multiplex has become a major entertainment hub in the city. It has five screens, including Royal Class Cinema with luxurious 160 degree recliner seating; which brings supreme relaxation to guest. The multiplex aces in all aspects of movie exhibition from advanced picture quality, superior sound, great ambience, luxurious seating and

delicious food. The total seating capacity is 954 seats. They say happiness cannot be expressed in words but at The Entertainment Park multiplex, happiness is all about amazing cinematic experience. With The Entertainment Park, moviegoers can rest assured that they will be treated to a world-class experience of watching movies in the city of Bhavnagar. Pankaj Rathod, General Manager, The Entertainment Park: "We are the first in Bhavnagar to be equipped


• INDIA PLEXING • with Dolby Atmos. This is indeed something very special for the cinema lovers of the city. Our service and quality are our key qualities. We have a strong focus on hygiene and maintenance. Our parking area is very spacious; it can accommodate up to 500 cars." Enjoy the PS-4, Video Games, pool table, bowling alley, bumper car, kids games and much more... Redefine your audio experience with DOLBY ATMOS and witness the best screen quality.

Splendid Screen Quality Samarth Gandhi, President, Allied Enterprises elaborates on his experience of working with The Entertainment Park: "Allied Enterprises was working for the selection of screen and 3D system during the execution of the project when all the architectural drawings and sizes were already decided. Mr Shiv Bansal, Managing Director, The Entertainment Park, had approached us for the best solution for screens for both 2D and 3D application and later when the screens were installed. He expressed his pleasure with the performance of the screen. Subsequently, Shiv sir asked for the best suitable 3D system for his theatre. We ensured the

selection of screen and 3D as per SMPTE and DCI standards of viewing experience for cinemas." He further describes the installation features, "Allied Enterprises selected the screen types, gain and kind of perforation required as per the application and design of the theatre. A screen has many specifications and variants to select

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• INDIA PLEXING • the correct combination. It includes perforation, right light distribution, reflectivity, uniform viewing experience and efficient lamp consumption at the projector end. Allied Enterprises suggested the best fit of Strong MDI screens for all 5 Audis of TEP. We were aware of the combination of projectors which were to be used in each Audi and to maintain the best viewing experience and industry standards each Strong MDI screen was selected separately." "Allied Enterprises helped The Entertainment Park to provide the best and most immersive moviegoing experience to its patrons with the right combination of Strong MDI screens and X Mirror 3D system. Since, none of these things are manufactured in India and we had 2 to 3 months in the opening of the cinema, we requested Mr Bansal to plan the order of screens early to meet the project timelines and get them by sea so that he could save on the commercial part of it and maintaining the quality and experience," he added.

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• INDIA PLEXING •

Mukta A2 Cinemas

Affordable and Luxurious Cinematic Experience With the multiplex culture ruling the metros and single screen cinemas still catering to regional tastes in smaller towns and cities, Mukta A2 Cinemas is giving the moviegoers best of both worlds! The cinema chain has been consistently building an affordable and luxurious cinematic experience across India ever since its inception.

Multiplex Revolution in Metros Every year, thousands of movies are produced in India, making the Indian film Industry one of the biggest in the world by volume. The Indian film industry produces films in various regional languages of which Hindi, Tamil and Telugu are the biggest markets. These movies are released simultaneously across single screens and multiplexes in the country. The multiplex revolution has seen these theatres do great business in metros across India, but the single screens in the country have been going through some tough times. Single screens do not deliver the high-end cinematic experience that multiplexes do and thus have fallen behind. However, multiplexes have become far more expensive for a common moviegoer, who wishes to enjoy family time, without having to spend a bomb. This has affected the entertainment options for many. The multiplex culture targets only upmarket segment, whereas the country's largest number of audiences are still small and middle income groups. This is where the single screen still has an important role to play.

Single Screens Continue Catering to Regional Tastes Single screens are still very relevant in smaller towns and cities as they have brand as well as locational advantage. They are generally located in the heart of small centres and play popular content, which is well received by masses. In recent

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past, there have been many instances where a Hollywood movie did exceptionally well only because it was dubbed in regional Indian languages. Regional cinema also does extremely well at single screens in small centres because of its popular reach. Single screens always have the advantage of providing content that caters to local audiences' tastes. While big production houses and studios are trying to understand the demand of the regions to enhance their occupancy rates across India, single screens will reap the benefits of such a strategy. The multiplex expansion in urban areas has almost reached a saturation point. Further screen expansion in smaller cities is the need of the hour to boost the revenue generating capacity of the industry as a whole. India continues to lag behind its nearest rival China in terms of screens per head. For the industry as a whole, more screens would be a huge boost. Of late, many cinema chains are now beginning to look at Tier 3 or and Tier 4 cities to set-up theaters.

Expanding in Southern Circuit As per the Film Federation of India, out of India's total single screen count of about 8000, over 4000 single screens are in the South and averagely have a higher occupancy than single screens in the North. With plans of expansion in the Southern Circuit, Mukta A2 Cinemas formed a JV with Asian Cinemas this financial year to launch over 25 single screens in the South within a span of 18

months. Through this partnership, the cinema chain has recently launched five single screens in the cities of Gangavathi, Tandur, Nizamabad, Sadashivpeth and Kothagude. The reputed chain will also be soon expanding the brand's footprint in 4 more cities and add 6 more screens by April 2018. With this, Mukta A2 Cinemas will mark the completion of 57 screens globally. Commenting on this Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Limited said, "We are delighted to have joined hands with one of the biggest cinema brands of the South, Asian Cinemas; and work towards our shared brand purpose of delivering a world-class experience to our patrons. Mukta A2 Cinemas has swiftly reached the 52-screen mark and we look forward to bringing over 100 cinemas under the banner. The goal is to deliver an outstanding movie-going experience to a varied demographic across regions. This first phase of expansion in the Southern markets is one of the many steps in that direction."

Global Footprint The company had launched its cinema in the Middle East at Juffair Mall, Bahrain with six screens and a seating capacity of 960 people last year. Mukta A2 Cinemas continues to build multiplexes in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities like Ahmedabad, Pune etc and is soon expected to launch a single screen in Karimnagar. Mukta A2 Cinemas is now successfully operating in 20 cities, marking its Pan India presence to cater to the myriad needs of the movie buffs across the country.


• INDIA PLEXING •

PVR Cinemas

Creating Memories Pan India From launching a luxurious premium theatre in Ghaziabad to unveiling the extravagant subbrand in Mumbai, PVR Cinemas, India's largest motion picture exhibitor, is serving millions of film patrons across the length and breadth of the nation.

South India's first 'PVR Superplex' at Vega City, Bengaluru PVR Cinemas, owner and operator of the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuit in India, introduced Bengaluru to a premium movie theatre experience. The inauguration of its flagship property, a 12-screen multiplex at Vega City, Bannerghatta Main Road, is the second 'Superplex' by PVR in the country after Noida. Exalting the brand to a superlative level, PVR Superplex is a sub-brand that extends a contemporary approach towards an integrated design thread, which seamlessly weaves the entire range of cherrypicked cinema formats from across the world under one roof. Spread across an area of 70,574 sq. ft., the multiplex caters to 1670 audiences in its 12 screens. From the latest technology offerings like Next Generation 3D screens, Dolby Atmos surround sound, 4K projection systems, three Gold Class screens with enhanced luxury experience; an IMAX, and one 4DX audi to Bengaluru's first Playhouse theatre, PVR's unique kids' cinema concept; PVR Vega brings an extravagant cinematic experience to everybody.

Speaking at the launch, Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd, said, "Offering the best cinematic experience is a proud moment for us yet again as we launch country's second Superplex in the city of Bengaluru. We have received tremendous response from our first 15-screen Superplex property in Noida, which motivated us to expand in Southern India as well. We are excited to provide the most sophisticated movie viewing experience to our patrons here through international formats, most advanced technology and PVR's hospitality all under one roof." Advancing the movie theatre experience from watching the movie to almost living it, PVR provides the ultimate state of the art technology delivering a fully immersive cinematic experience along with customer-preferred amenities. In addition to the sophisticated interiors, plush recliners; the opulence of the property is highlighted by LED band lit cinema entrances. The multiscreen cinema is also equipped with the NextGen Quick Tix facility for instant ticketing

solution and Quick Byte Automated F&B ordering kiosks for an evolved and expanded menu of Gourmet delicacies. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd, further added "At PVR, we promise to provide the world's best cinema formats with inclass infrastructure, unmatched technology and luxurious cinematic experience to our patrons. We are confident that the launch of this 12 screen Superplex in Bengaluru, which is the biggest multi format cinema theatre will be received well by our audiences here. We also thank the management of Vega Mall for providing us with a great location; a retail paradise of luxurious brands, all of which complements our brand perfectly. Along with screenings of diverse content throughout the day, the property provides Indian audiences with a cinema destination featuring maximum movies, abundant show options and a longer running duration for films. Furthermore, patrons can also avail the facility of redeeming PVR gift cards and PVR privilege at the cinema.

Ghaziabad Welcomes PVR's Luxury Experience at VVIP Style Mall PVR Cinemas, nation's largest motion picture exhibitor, opened a new 3screen, premium theatre featuring the PVR's NextGen cinema design concept at the VVIP Style Mall in Raj Extension, Ghaziabad. Long recognized as a pioneer in the Indian cinema exhibition industry; PVR takes pride in offering the best entertainment viewing experience and PVR VVIP is no exception. The opening of PVR VVIP takes the total

tally to 111 screens across 28 properties in the National Capital Region.

to the residents of Ghaziabad" he added.

"The end goal is the experience" said Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR ltd "With nationwide representation, we feel

At the occasion, Sanjeev Bijli, JMD, PVR Ltdsaid "The 3-screen cinema located in a new mall surrounded by posh residential area and high rise

one of the best ways to be productive in suburbs is by providing a taster to the natives. PVR VVIP extends a glimpse into the world of opulent cinema viewing experiences

construction all around. It is very strategically located on NH-8; showcases great potential and is likely to be completely inhabited in the next 5 years or so. We also thank

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• INDIA PLEXING • our mall partners, VVIP group for providing us the best location for our cinema destinations This new addition to PVR cinemas can seat 549 audiences in its 3 plush auditoriums. The cinema is inspired from an art deco style in design, which features custom chandeliers and a symmetrical red color theme running across. PVR VVIP boasts off premium in-cinema technology

including Harkness screens, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, 4K digital projection system and Next Generation 3D enabled screens in its auditoriums offering a world- class movie watching experience. Further, it also offers the comfort of recliners in one of its auditoriums. In order to make movie-going as easy and enjoyable as possible, PVR focuses on offering more choices to

their customers. The new PVR VVIP offers the latest technology, cutting edge amenities and customerpreferred choices. In addition to the urbane interiors and an expanded F&B menu; the cinemas are also equipped with the NextGen Quick Tix facility for instant ticketing solution. Furthermore, patrons can also avail the facility of redeeming PVR Gift Cards and PVR Privilege at the cinema.

Second 'PVR ICON' in Mumbai PVR Cinemas, India's largest cinema exhibition chain, has revamped its Goregaon property at Oberoi Mall, Mumbai under the sub-brand called 'PVR ICON'. The iconic property offers an unmatched luxurious cinema viewing experience with advanced technologies and extravagant ambience. The launch event saw the star-studded presence of the stunt man of Bollywood; Akshay Kumar along with the star cast of soon to be released movie Padman. The opulent 'PVR ICON' at Oberoi Mall in Goregaon seats 1470 customers in 6 auditoriums while exuding style and modernity in design. The theatres have 4K digital projections and DOLBY digital surround sound system with next generation 3D enabled screens. This iconic property will also boast a special auditorium called the 'PVR Playhouse', which is introduced for the first time in Mumbai- making it an exclusive fun and entertainment destination for children of all ages. PVR Playhouse is a unique cinema format with a mix of special bean bag seats in front and colourful standard seats at the back, special characters on wall and story book shaped railing, which sets this auditorium apart from regular cinema. It also has an in-audi slide for kids to be at their playful best during the show. In addition to mainstream and playhouse theatre, the multiplex also has P[XL]- PVR's home grown big screen format for a truly enigmatic movie experience. The auditorium is equipped with giant screen, state of

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the art DOLBY ATMOS moving sound technology and RGB Laser projection system with customized 3D glasses to bring alive every little detail of the film. Every element in a P[XL] theatre creates an impact with immersive movie watching experience along with 4 different types of seating comprises of recliners, loungers, sofa seats and mainstream with extra leg room, delivering a truly comfortable cinema. On the occasion, Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures and Chief of Strategy, PVR Ltd. said "Mumbai has always symbolized the significance and magnitude of entertainment and cinematic experiences. Re-launching this significant multiplex into an iconic property is a planned move keeping in purview the growing needs of discerning audiences for quality cinema. This iconic property will set a benchmark of excellence and offer value to our audiences. Given the mix of right demographics and an appetite of high-quality viewing experience, we are confident that our efforts will be appreciated. We

are extremely thrilled to offer movie aficionados the finest cinematic experience in the city." Speaking on the occasion, Vikas Oberoi, CMD, Oberoi Realty said, "We are delighted at the launch of the PVR Icon PXL at Oberoi Mall. PVR Cinemas has been associated with Oberoi Mall since inception and we hope to continue our collaboration for many more years to come. In the last decade, Oberoi Mall has emerged as a complete family destination and has evolved its retail-mix to reflect the growing aspirations of Indian customers. PVR Cinemas is known to provide the best cinema viewing experience in India and is a step in the same direction. Furthermore, we also wish PVR Cinemas all the very best and are confident that together we will create memorable movie experiences for all our customers at Oberoi Mall. PVR currently operates a cinema circuit comprising of 625 screens at 134 properties in 51 cities (19 states & UTs), serving 75 million patrons annually.


• INDIA PLEXING •

First IMAX at Select Citywalk in New Delhi PVR Ltd announced the launch of its first IMAX theatre at Select Citywalk, the most popular shopping center in Delhi NCR. PVR joined forces with IMAX Corporation, an innovator in entertainment technology, to bring the most immersive movie-going experience for its patrons. With this launch PVR now has a total of 5 IMAX theatres across the country in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Noida respectively. Located at one of the most admired shopping centres, the new PVR IMAX theatre features IMAX's cutting-edge projection system with a 9.1 meter high giant screen to deliver crystalclear images; coupled with their customized theatre geometry and powerful digital sound system. Seating 299 movie-goers; the ultraluxurious PVR IMAX with leather seating and plush first row loungers clubbed with world class technology, is all set to provide an immersive 3D experience like never before. Speaking on the launch Saurabh Singh, Business Head, The Luxury

Collection, PVR Cinemas said, "With the technology boom, the expectations of our audiences are also growing day-byday. Symbolizing the significance and magnitude of cinematic experiences, we constantly strive to offer the finest and the best to discerning movie-goers. Our patrons in Delhi will enjoy an elevated cinematic experience at the PVR-IMAX theatre, showcasing varied titles in its immersive format." he added. Yogeshwar Sharma, ED and CEO, Select City Walk said, "At Select Citywalk our constant endeavor is to deliver unmatched levels of experience to our shoppers. We are honored to be the first choice by PVR Cinemas to bring in the New Year

cheers for Delhiites through this new state of the art IMAX screen, especially now when we are celebrating our 10th year anniversary." With unrivalled technology and unsurpassed luxury, the audiences can embark upon an inter galactic adventure watching all new movies such as Star Wars, Black Panther and Tomb Raider (which is yet to be released) and many more at an ultraluxurious format of PVR IMAX.


• INDIA PLEXING •

Two Properties with 13 Screens Launched on a Single Day in Hyderabad The largest Indian cinema-exhibition company PVR Ltd reaffirmed its presence in style, launching 13 screens on a single day in Hyderabad. The combined launch includes the iconic sub-brand 'PVR Icon' at the Next Galleria at Hitech-City and PVR Cinemas with states' first Playhouse at Next Galleria in Panjagutta. These launches see PVR reach a screen count of 36 screens across 6 properties in the state of Telangana with 23 properties and 155 screens in South India. While the busy Hitech-city will enjoy PVR Icon, the most opulent format in India, delivering a sumptuous cinema experience through its signature ambience, magnificent lobby spaces, chandeliers, classic wall art, new leather recliners and extra leg room. The Suburbs of Panjagutta will revel with the state's first Kids special PVR Playhouse concept, a unique, child friendly theatre with aqua theme, animated wall art having a mix of frog chair rows in the front, cushioned bubble chairs at the back and mainstream seats in the middle and the in-audi water-snake slide encourages kids to be at their playful best. On the occasion, Sanjeev Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd, said, "Our commitment towards the

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Hyderabad market can be seen through our constant endeavor to bring new and unique formats to the city. Both the properties are strategically located and stand in absolute synergy with city's brand projection as the nation's technology center. With the increasing demand of premium cinema experience in South India, we are sincerely working towards expanding our foothold. On behalf of PVR cinemas, I would like to thank the mall management for providing such strategic locations for both the multiplexes to cater the city's audience. It indeed is an encouraging step towards strengthening our presence in the southern market." Combined, the newly launched cinemas have a total capacity of 2,214 seats and are spread across 66,256sq.ft. While the 5-screens"PVR Icon" can seat 936 audiences; PVR

Panjagutta is spread across a bigger area with 1278 seating capacity across 8 auditoriums. Both the multiplexes are equipped with best in-cinema technology including Dolby ATMOS digital surround sound and 4K projection system along with Next Generation 3D screens. The new theaters create an immersive and wholesome movie watching experience with recliner seats and a wide range of gourmet delicacies at differentiated concessionaires catering to the taste buds of all cinema goers. Speaking on the occasion, Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Cinemas said, "We are delighted to simultaneously open our 5th& 6th property in Hyderabad and introduce the state's first PVR ICON and PVR Playhouse. With these openings, we cross the magnanimous 150 screen mark in the southern region of the country. Both these properties present true testimony of our efforts to bring the PVR experience to this part of the country too. Given the mix of right demographics and an appetite of high-quality viewing experience, we are confident that our efforts will be appreciated. We are extremely thrilled to offer movie aficionados the finest cinematic experience in the city."


• BUSINESS TREND •

Hyderabad Leads in New Mall Space Addition – Sreenivasa Rao Dasari Hyderabad, followed by Chennai, is leading the national real estate sector in mall space as the Pearl City accounted for 39 per cent of the total shopping mall space added in 2017. Generally, malls would come up where catchment potential is high, but shopping malls under Hyderabad metro project will attract huge footfalls, observes C Shekhar Reddy, former President Credai National. "Four malls are ready in Hyderabad including two ready to open for consumers. No doubt that these malls will attract buyers in great numbers. Multiplex will be an added advantage to malls. Metro-based malls would also support other existing malls close by. Employees going home from offices can do shopping on the way. Generally, consumers prefer to buy online since travelling within the city for shopping purposes is a chaotic experience. Whereas, metro malls facilitate shopping on the way. Metro malls added most of the consumers from different locations brought to malls," said Mr Reddy. According to a latest study by JLL India, retail supply in the next three years (2018 - 2020) is expected to be at 19.4 million square feet (msf). In the same period, demand will be approximately 15msf. The study revealed that 2018 will see the highest supply since 2011. The total newly completed malls in 2017 was recorded at 5.6 msf, which is expected to see an increment of close to 40 per cent y-o-y and rise to 7.8 msf by the end of 2018. The largest contribution to this will be

coming from the two southern cities of Hyderabad (2.2 msf) and Chennai (1.5 msf), which will see significant influx of mall supply. Delhi - NCR will be witnessing the highest supply of 2.3 msf of new mall space in 2018, albeit recording a decline of 28 per cent y-o-y since 2017. "Setting up malls was conceived earlier also. Local major players such as IVRCL proposed, but had not started. Because of recession, this proposal was slowed down. InOrbit Mall is doing good. Forum, GVK Malls are also ok. But metro malls are attracting huge foot falls to their place. Density of apartments is increasing in western part of city and it needs more malls, which support e-commerce as well," said Mr Reddy. "In Delhi, NCR Region and Gurugram are overcrowded. Delhi reached excess mall space in almost seven years ago. On the other side, ecommerce and tele-banking put pressure on mall space," opines Reddy. Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India, said: "The retail sector of India is going through a fresh period of growth, which is backed by strong economic fundamentals. As we have seen an increase in interest from investors which was seen with investments of over $750 mn in 2017. Encouraged by the urbanisation, young population and rising proportion of nuclear families in urban locations, over 70 per cent of consumption growth in the next 15 years is expected from population aged 15-59 years, with increased per capita consumption. This along with

the opening up of the FDI route for retail brands entering into India will further boost retail investments." Entertainment segment will further boost demand for shopping malls. The largest Indian cinema-exhibition company PVR Ltd on Friday announced the simultaneous launch of its fifth and sixth PVR property with 13 screens in Next Galleria at Hitech-city Mall and Next Galleria Panjagutta Mall. Sanjeev Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd, said, "Our commitment towards the Hyderabad market can be seen through our constant endeavour to bring new and unique formats to the city. Both the properties are strategically located and stand in absolute synergy with city's brand projection as the nation's technology center. With the increasing demand of premium cinema experience in South India, we are sincerely working towards expanding our foothold. On behalf of PVR cinemas, I would like to thank the mall management for providing such strategic locations for both the multiplexes to cater the city's audience. It indeed is an encouraging step towards strengthening our presence in the southern market."

This article is a contribution from 'The Hans India', a daily newspaper published from Hyderabad. It is a part of the Hyderabad Media House Limited - www.thehansindia.com

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• BUSINESS TREND •

Miraj Cinemas

The Rapidly Growing Empire

With a standpoint to touch the milepost of 100 screens by the end of this year, and the success of having launched 84 in the last five years, Miraj is now focusing on expanding in various cosmopolitan cities across India.

Miraj Cinemas has been pursuing its vision of providing cinemagoers with a premium experience of watching movies. Every requirement, right from best sound and display to prime interiors and infrastructure is carefully taken into account. This has given an impetus to Miraj Cinemas to become one of the fastest growing theatre chains in India and it is now on its way to touch the 100-screen landmark soon.

New Mileposts With a standpoint to touch the milepost of 100 screens by the end of this year, and the success of having launched 84 in last five years, Miraj is now focusing on expanding in various cosmopolitan cities in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal among others. It aims to reach 200 screens by FY 2020. “Miraj Cinemas endeavours to maintain its success

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and has taken every step in this direction. The company plans to operate and expand aggressively to over 100 screens Pan India with increasing presence in cities of Delhi NCR, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Maharashtra,” says Amit Sharma, Managing Director, Miraj Entertainment Ltd.

Tour de Force In order to reach the target of 100 screens by the end of this year, the multiplex operator has strengthened its position in the populous states of Punjab, Gujarat and Delhi NCR by adding 5 multiplexes with 15 screens in a record time of just 60 days. In Kolkata, Miraj Cinemas has launched a new multiplex at Aurobindo Mall with 2 screens that vaunts 516 plush seats along with the projectors facilitating 3D movies. “It gives immense pleasure to dedicate

best-in-class movie viewing experience to the people of Salkia and nearby localities with our new property launch at Aurobindo Mall. I hope our new property here will be able to bring smile to every movie lovers of the area as it is equipped with advance facilities and best of the technologies. This property is our first multiplex in the state of West Bengal and we look forward to more such opportunities in coming days to spread our network rigorously” says Amit Sharma.


• BUSINESS TREND • Miraj Cinemas is about to introduce the first ever multiplex at Nandurbar, Maharashtra. It is a 3-screen property; all the screens are 3D equipped with 7.1 Dolby sound system and recliner seating facilities comprising modern state-of-the-art infrastructure.

The Burgeoning Empire Setting its feet firm in entertainment world, Amit laid the foundation of Miraj Cinemas in Ajmer in 2012 with an aim to provide best-in-class movie viewing experience across India. With 84 existing theatre screens launched within five years across India, Miraj Cinemas is making its presence felt at the national level. Giving ‘value for money’ to the movie buffs, Miraj Cinema believes in promoting not just the Bollywood and Hollywood films but regional cinemas as well. Be it out-of-the-box movie distribution strategy or the extensive promotional and marketing model, Miraj Cinemas is uncompromisingly capturing the markets from metro cities to smaller towns of the country.

Miraj Cinemas Anupam wins the Best Multiplex Theatre of the Year Award at Big Cine Expo 2017. Amit Sharma, Managing Director of Miraj Entertainment receiving the Award

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• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E •

Marred by Controversies, Blessed by Box Office From political parties resorting to vote bank politics to patriarchal groups making baseless accusations, there was action-drama-violence right on the streets across India in the wake of some of the most controversial film releases of the year. Think of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film and what comes to your mind is his rich oeuvre that ranges from the musical Khamoshi to the historical Bajirao Mastani. With each passing film, the director has been treating his connoisseurs to a cinematic extravaganza. As the director evolves his craft with every film so does the audience expectations. Even before the first teasers of his films release, Bhansali fans yearn to catch a glimpse of the visual spectacle he paints on the cinema canvas with his muses of imagination. But when Padmavati (later renamed Padmaavat) happened, all those citadels of romance that build up the mood of his films, were smashed by the terrorizing and ugly face of society.

Padmaavat - Carrying Forward Bhansali's Larger Than Life Legacy Based on the epic poem Padmaavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, the movie stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, a Rajput queen known for her beauty and wife of Maharawal Ratan Singh, played by Shahid Kapoor. Sultan Alauddin Khilji, played by Ranveer Singh, hears of her beauty and attacks her kingdom to claim her. Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh, Raza Murad, and Anupriya Goenka featured in supporting roles. Padmaavat received mixed reviews. Critics praised the visuals, the

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cinematography and Singh's portrayal of Khilji, but criticized its storyline, execution, length and adherence to regressive patriarchal mores. Critics also disliked the stark contrasting portrayal of Khilji as a stereotypical evil Muslim king and Ratan Singh as the righteous Hindu king.

Drama, Violence, Action & Climax on the Streets Much before the film lovers could revel in the excitement of an anticipated magnum opus from the director, they woke up to the shocking images of brutally vandalized sets in Jaigarh Fort in January 2017. This was just the

beginning of hell breaking loose on film and its cast and crew. What went on in the run up to the release has perhaps broken all records of insanity witnessed in any of the most preposterous film-related controversies in the past. Another attack on the sets ensued in March 2017 with Karni Sena members vandalizing Padmni Mahal in Chittor Fort. The members accused the makers of the film for 'distorting history.' From the alleged dream sequence to the picturization of Ghoomar, Karni Sena justifications for creating ruckus knew no bounds. "We have learnt that the filmmakers are portraying the film as a love story between Alauddin Khilji and Padmini,


• S P E C I A L F E AT U R E •

Other Recent Controversial Releases Mersal - Bharatiya Janata Party, which is trying to build a base for itself in Tamil Nadu, had taken offense to the Tamil movie Mersal starring Vijay for its critical outlook at GST, Digital India program and demonetization. However, it proved to be a major embarrassment for the party as the Madras High Court rejected a petition to ban the film, stating: "It is only a film and not real life.

Freedom of expression is for all." Besides, the film also went on to become a superhit! Anjaniputra - Screenings of Puneet Rajkumar-starrer Anjaniputra had been stayed by a Bengaluru city civil court. A lawyer moved court against the film citing that there is an objectionable dialogue against the lawyer community.

Pradesh and Haryana. The makers moved the Supreme Court, and the ban was lifted in these states. However, with Karni Sena protesters determined to not let the film release at any cost, and threatening to burn down theatres, cinema owners could not dare take chances; especially after the news of a theatre in Muzaffarnagar in Bihar being vandalized. The protest took a grotesque and inhuman turn when a day before the release of Padmaavat, suspected members of Karni Sena staged violent protests in Delhi-NCR, including attacking a school bus full of children in Gurugram! Incidents of violence were reported in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Gujarat as well.

Box Office in the Times of Mayhem

which is a blatant distortion of history. That is why we stopped the shooting and told the makers that we won't let them continue unless they make changes," said Narayan Divrala, district president, Karni Sena. The rage of threats continued, as Karni Sena claimed the film was distorting historical facts and vowed to not allow the film to be shown. The irony is they made these claims months before any promo of the film was shown on television. Open death

threats were issued against Deepika and Bhansali in press. Posters burnt. Amid insane and violent protests, a bounty was placed on the crew and its release was indefinitely delayed. From political parties resorting to vote bank politics to patriarchal groups claiming to invoke "women's honor", there was drama, action, violence and climax - all out on the streets. Initially, the film was banned in four states: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya

With a production cost of INR 2.15 billion (US$33 million), Padmaavat is one of the most expensive Indian films made till date. In December, the Central Board of Film Certification approved the film with few changes, which includes the addition of multiple disclaimers and a change in title. Padmaavat was rescheduled for release on 25 January 2018 in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D formats, making it the first Indian film to be released in IMAX 3D. Industry experts believe if Bhansali's magnum opus had released as per the schedule (December 1, 2017), the film would performed really well on the box office, ending the lull phase of Bollywood. Film distributor Rajesh Thadani too feels, "If there was no problem at all, the film industry would have benefited as there was curiosity around the movie was very high. Now that the movie is postponed (January 25, 2018) so there is a loss to the film industry, the makers and everyone else is affected now." Despite not being released in some states of India, it grossed over INR 5.64 billion (US$86 million) at the box office, becoming a commercial success and one of the highestgrossing Indian films of all time. March-May 2018

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TheatreMagic ::: March - May 2018  

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

TheatreMagic ::: March - May 2018  

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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