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PVR's CEO terms pvt screenings of concerts, sports events as new business opportunity
PVR's CEO terms pvt screenings of concerts, sports events as new business opportunity
As multiplexes and cinema halls reopen across India, the stock price of PVR Cinemas has been experiencing a rise. PVR Limited's CEO Gautam Dutta has sounded optimistic over private screenings as a new area of business opportunity that has risen for multiplex owners after the pandemic, where families or smaller groups can book an auditorium for a better and an uninterrupted movie experience. He told ET Now that multiplexes have also started to attract customers with screening of non-movie content such as musical concerts, documentaries and live sports events which allow them to bring in newer audiences, strengthen their brand and open newer revenue generating avenues. As cinemas reopened after the first wave when new movies weren't coming regularly, many corporates and small & medium businesses used cinema premises and their premium experience for company events, which helped get more audience to the theatres for private events including screening. However, he said that restrictions in seating capacity, curtailment of shows due to night curfews and weekend closures did deter avid movie goers who are ready to return to watching new content on the big screen. Terming viewing of movies as one of the best and cheapest forms of out-of-home entertainment, he is hopeful that the movie-watching business which has been around for more than 100 years will bounce back despite facing many disruptions. Dutta questions that when all other leisure activities like restaurants have fully reopened why cinema halls aren't being allowed to operate for long to ensure optimum capacity utilization, quoting various research studies which called cinemas safer than almost any other indoor environment if safety guidelines are being followed. He is of the view that the rise in OTT audiences was only due to the exceptional circumstances during the pandemic, and theatrical business will always co-exist with digital and other platforms. Managing Director of Carnival Cinemas, PV Sunil points to various big banner films which are waiting to be released only in theatres first, as many big production houses weren't keen on releasing their films directly on OTT platforms. He terms 2022 as a great year for the cinema business with an exciting line-up of films. Though he agrees that the past 1.5 years have been tough for the cinema industry as many big ticket films released on OTT platforms, he sounds optimistic as multiplexes and cinema halls have either reopened or are about to reopen across India.
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