Inox, Cinepolis open few properties, PVR and Carnival to start from 16th

Inox Leisure and Cinepolis India were the only two major multiplex chains which resumed commercial operations in a few of their properties on Thursday, even as 15 states and union territories permitted cinema exhibition following the guidelines of the ministry of home affairs. A few states like Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka have allowed reopening of cinema screens while two of the biggest movie markets, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are yet to allow film screenings.

PVR, which arranged special screenings for corona warriors and its employees today, will officially resume operations across these states starting Friday and so will Carnival Cinemas. “Around 30% of our properties will resume operations from Friday,” said Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, joint MD, PVR. He added that the response is expected to be “slightly slow”, there is a possibility that footfalls are higher than expectations.

“I think people have been eagerly waiting for the cinemas to open up. As we can see in other industries, such as restaurants and retail, consumerism is coming back. People want to be able to start consuming various forms of entertainment again. Initially, the pickup might be slightly slow but I see the trend picking up over the next couple of weeks as and when new content comes in. The consumers will also become more comfortable about the safety protocols taken by us at the cinemas,” said Bijli.

Most of the multiplexes will be running a mix of older releases, like ‘Tanhaji’, ‘Chhichhore’, ‘Shubh Mangal Jyada Saavdhan’, ‘Malang’, ‘Thappad’ etc, along with new release, ‘The Spy’. “We are opening with a mix of new and older content. Overall, we have an exciting line-up of content which will attract patrons,” said Devang Sampat, CEO, Cinepolis India. “The consumer response to the news of reopening has been good in terms of the positive responses we have received on our social media channels. The attendance figures for the day are still coming in but the signs are quite encouraging.”

Cinepolis opened screens in Delhi and Karnataka and plans to resume operations across Gujarat, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh shortly. “During the week, we will open about 40 % of the total 340 screens available with Cinépolis,” Sampat said. Meanwhile Inox Leisure open screens across 20 cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Surat, Lucknow and others. “It is extremely exciting for all of us at INOX to be back in action from today. Millions of movie lovers across the country have been waiting for cinemas to resume operations. We are certain, that the SOPs prescribed by the I&B Ministry, clubbed with some of our exciting technology-driven measures and concepts like private screening, will help us allow us to welcome back our guests in our own unique style,” said Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure.

Meanwhile, Carnival Cinemas will be resuming operations at 110 screens, which is around 20% of its total screen count, on Friday. PV Sunil, MD, Carnival cinemas said that while the response from consumers is low, he expects crowds to come in starting Saturday. Carnivals will also be playing films like ‘War’, ‘Section 375’, ‘Simmba’, ‘Queen’ as well as regional films like ‘Ebhabei Golpo Hok’ (Bengali) and two Gujarati films, ‘Chhello Divas’ and ‘Hellaro’.


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