PVR to open multiplexes in 14 more cities

Bengaluru, Dec 29 (IANS) Leading Indian multiplex theatre chain Priya Village Roadshow (PVR) on Monday announced that 14 more multiplex theatres will be opened in tier two cities across India in the near future.

“Our new markets (multiplexes) are coming up in Noida, Jaipur, Mysore, Durgapur, Bareilly, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Pathankot, Ambala, Amritsar, Kota and others,” said CEO Gautam Dutta after launching their seventh multiplex – a nine-screen multiplex at VR mall in Whitefield.

With the new multiplex, PVR’s screen count rose to 57 across the city. Consisting of an IMAX screen as well, the new multiplex has a seating capacity of 1,393.

“We have invested around Rs.27 crore in the new multiplex in Bengaluru, on an average, it costs Rs.2.5 to 3 crore to build a screen,” said Dutta.

Nationally, PVR’s screen count rose to 491 at 109 properties in 44 cities.

“Very soon, in a few weeks time, we will cross the 500 screen count. On an average, PVR adds 60 – 70 screens annually across the country while the total screen additions in the country including all players is around 300 in a year,” said chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli.

Dutta said that nearly 53 to 55 percent of their screens are in tier one cities and the remaining in tier two and three cities.

Quizzed on the skyrocketing prices of cinema tickets, Dutta said: “It is largely because of the way the business plan is laid out for any cinema, the amount of capex, the money that goes into building a cinema. That’s how the whole business model works.”

Interestingly, multiplex chains cannot just raise prices in Hyderabad and Chennai markets. In Hyderabad, other than premier seats, majority of the multiplex seats have been priced at Rs.150 for the past six years and continuing with no premium pricing on weekends as well.

“That’s not because of us, it is because of state levied pricing control. Hyderabad and Chennai prices are controlled by the state governments. According to the state laws we cannot take the prices higher or lower,” said Dutta.

In February 2016, PVR is opening a 4D screen in its 15 screen multiplex coming up in Noida.

“There is not just sound an projection quality, simulation as well, your seats will move, there is smell, there is water, it is very immersive, let us see how people react to it,” said Dutta.

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