While lights, camera and action are gaining momentum, the most recent one to which many people are excited about may be the sound effect in the entertainment industry. Both Hollywood and Bollywood are adopting the Dolby Digital sound for providing viewers with the very best experience. The biggest multiplex chain in India, PVR, has tangled up with Dolby Atmos because of its 50 screens in India to supply a sophisticated cinematic experience. What does this tie-up have waiting for you and what exactly are the other plans on the anvil, Ajay Bijli, Chairman & Managing Director, PVR Ltd, unveils.
What resulted in the tie-up with Dolby?
Our relationship with Dolby dates back to 1990 whenever we opened our first cinema in Delhi, Priya. In those days, I had a need to play Hollywood films and Warner Brothers weren’t giving us good films therefore the only way to achieve that was to set up Dolby. We were the next cinema in the united states to adopt Dolby. In terms of seating system, projection system and audio system, we wish nothing less. So together we’ve been creating an unbelievable experience for the audience. We are installing Dolby in screens with 250+ seats. These will primarily maintain metros. Few properties in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai have already been identified. So out of 50, almost 20 properties we’ve identified. They are the ones with big Audis where we are installing Dolby. It’s costing us Rs 40 crore for the whole 50 screen tie-up for just two years.
How will you choose the tie-ups?
Whatever is new regarding technology, we make an effort to introduce that. So we continue to keep an eye on that to see exactly what will be acceptable to Indian audience. Experiments remain being done. We achieved it with IMAX this past year. Things are happening on the projection side aswell. I can’t disclose everything.
Does July appear to have been the very best month for PVR?
July has been fantastic with Bahubali, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Drishyam. Even Hollywood films did perfectly. I am happy with the films in the offing. So the appetite of individuals to venture out has increased. So this past year wasn’t such an excellent one. That is looking such as a blockbuster.
What distance are you with DT acquisition?
For DT Cinemas, we are looking forward to regulatory approval from CCI otherwise the acquisition has ended.
Will the industry see any more consolidation?
I don’t see any longer consolidation happening. A whole lot of action happened this past year. Again if something must happen, it will require time.
Reveal about the three-pronged strategy of PVR.
In last two-three years, we’ve opened PVR Talkies in cities like Ujjain, Nanded, Latur, Raipur, Bilsapur, Pathankot and Panipat. That is our no frills model. Then we’ve PVR Cinemas where a lot more than 300 screens is there. Then we’ve PVR premium cinemas, where we’ve a gold class. This three-pronged strategy of experiencing three different segments in target continues to be quite definitely there. As the complete country is under check, the growth will be everywhere. We need to observe how growth happens with malls. We are conscious about locations. We don’t want to build cinemas anywhere. Even in small town locations need to be right. We’ve 80 lower-end screens in Tier 3 cities. We could have 150 within the next 2 yrs. Overall we are growing 70-80 screens everywhere.
How will be the bowling alley and IMAX businesses performing?
Among our bowling alleys in Vasant kunj was closed due to the problem in the mall not due to the business. It had been perhaps our highest grossing centre. So there wasn’t a problem with the business enterprise. The developer had some problems with the authorities. But more often than not that’s an extremely profitable business for all of us. Under IMAX, we’ve got one opened and another is ready as we are simply looking forward to licenses in Bengaluru. With IMAX, we will play Hollywood content only. Because of this, we need to choose catchments having highest consumption of Hollywood films. In Delhi/NCR, Noida would be the first.