It’s Time for a Private Viewing Party in Cinema Halls3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
One of the most affected industries in the pandemic is movie theaters, and after the announcement of the reopening of cinema halls, people still seem wary of going to theaters for movie screenings.
The government has issued strict guidelines for cinema halls such as sanitization, cleanliness, and social distancing to be followed inside the theatres. This decreases the number of total people allowed per screening. Also, watching movies in a theatre does not top the list of one’s leisure activities. Therefore, the turn up has been low despite the opening up of multiplexes.
Hence, the owners are looking at all possibilities and ideas to generate revenue, which is also resulting in a change in the way people look at cinema halls and consume visual content.
Lockdown ka Jhatka
If we go back to March 2020, activities like gyms, cinema halls, and others were closed and reopened recently after nearly seven months of closure. Theaters were allowed to open from Oct 15 in some states with strict guidelines in place for social distancing.
If we look at the latest earnings posted by Inox & PVR, the impact of lockdown is fully visible in their profit & loss statements.
Inox Leisure reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 67.83 crore for the quarter ended September as its film exhibition business was closed due to the Covid induced-lockdown. The company posted a net profit of Rs 35.13 crore in July-September a year ago.
Multiplex chain PVR Cinemas reported a consolidated loss of Rs. 184 crore for Jul-Sep quarter as compared to a profit of Rs. 48 crore during the corresponding quarter of last year, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown which led to theatres being shut down across the country.
Audience Response Post-Unlock
The theatres have now been open in several parts of the country for over a month now, but in the absence of a pan-India reopening, movie producers are being cautious with new movie releases that have made the revival of the industry quite slow.
Inox’s Chief Marketing Officer Saurabh Varma reportedly said, “We are yet to reach the usual operational benchmarks, largely due to the absence of fresh content, which is key to the revival of the cinema exhibition sector.”
Until producers are confident about releasing big-budget movies, some alternate revenue streams seem to be the only way to stay afloat for cinema halls.
Paving the Way for Revenue
As an alternate option for generating revenue, multiplexes have come up with a unique proposition for offering private screenings. INOX Leisure, PVR Cinemas, Cinepolis, and Carnival Cinemas have begun offering private screenings, options to organize parties in theatres, and create spin-offs of their in-house food and beverage spread.
Inox Leisure has recently launched an offer where anyone can book an entire theatre for a private screen for Rs. 2,999 to enjoy any film with friends and family. The maximum number of people for screening can be 50% of the total capacity of the theatre. Inox has assured the viewers of complete safety & sanitation.
As per media reports, PVR has also come up with a similar offer, the company’s CEO reportedly said that the company is looking at introducing new and innovative solutions that shall bring the patrons back to the theatres. The service will enable customers to book an entire auditorium for a small gathering of friends and family, at a booking amount that starts from Rs. 1,999.
At PVR, the private viewing cinema service comes with enhanced guest safety protocols, personalised services, a made-to-order menu, a dedicated manager, and guest exclusivity.
PVR’s CEO reportedly said that the initial audience response has been assuring and it’s gratifying to see people rejoice at the feeling of experiencing cinema on the big screen once again.
Therefore, this new activity of private screening may lead to a new category altogether in the Indian multiplex space.
Fundamental & Technical dose
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