Jul 9, 2008

Sectorial View : Multiplex Sector

Multiplexes to become complete entertainment zones:

Going to the neighbourhood multiplex may become a more complicated affair in the future. You may have to spend some time, deciding on which of the 15 movies to watch, and then choose which wine to use to wash down the cheese that is on the menu in the adjoining lounge-bar.

Mumbai's multiplexes are growing bigger and better and working towards transforming themselves into complete entertainment zones. A couple are working towards having 14 or 15 screens, to give you a much wider choice than ever before, and some others are trying to get liquor licences so that you can wash down your movie experience with the choicest of liquor.

And, if your kids are bored with the movie, you can also leave them out in the children's play area or, better still, book a ticket for them in the theatre where the screen is dedicated to kids' films.

Reliance Adlabs is one of the firms that is planning a double-digit number of screens in one of its megaplexes; its Kurla plex will have 15 screens. Besides, it plans to have the Ebony Lounge where there will be an attendant waiting only on you as you wine and dine while watching the movie of your choice.

The firm is investing Rs 30 crore on what will be India's largest megaplex. Spokesperson Tushar Dhingra said, "It will have 15-16 screens, including an IMAX 3D digital screen, food and beverage lounges, special screens for kids and sports screens.'' Adlabs is also opening a nine-screen multiplex at Ghatkopar.

D B Realty Orchid Zone Mall will match Reliance Adlabs with a 14-screen multiplex at Dahisar. Nabil Patel, one of the directors of the company said, "The multiplex will accommodate 2,786 people and be ready by early 2010. A visit here will be a global experience. It will have laser lights and water fountains similar to the ones you see in Sydney and Las Vegas. We, in fact, have the same companies doing it for us."

D B Realty is now talking to three major multiplex owners for a possible tie-up. Patel added, "We have shortlisted three of them and will finalise the deal with one of them early next week." D B Realty will have a 300,000-sq-ft food court.

PVR Cinemas, one of the pioneers in multiplex culture, is planning a PVR Premiere at Lower Parel. This will have a "stadium-type" seating arrangement. PVR Goregaon has just been launched with six screens and a seating capacity of 1,700.

It has a kids' play area with leather-cushioned seats furnished with toys and has tied up with kids' channel Pogo. PVR has also installed 2K digital cinema that allows you to see films on a bigger screen.

PVR vice-president (marketing) Ranjan Singh said: "We already have an 11-screen multiplex in Bangalore which is doing wonderfully well. We are planning a seven-screen multiplex in Mumbai.''

Fun Cinemas, too, will soon get a facelift but vice-president (marketing) Vishal Anand is not ready to disclose details. It has one of the best gaming zones and food courts in Mumbai.

Cinemax already has the Red Lounge with reclining and massage chairs and introduces karaoke sound and television monitors during cricket and football matches. Marketing head Dewang Sampat said, "We are planning to add more gaming zones and food courts at our existing properties in Mumbai."

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