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PVR expands footprint in Pune, opens ten screens

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-08-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: Movie exhibition chain PVR Ltd expanded its footprint in Pune, opening ten screens across two properties on Friday.

The combined launch includes one theatre under sub-brand “PVR ICON” and the other under the regular PVR Cinemas category. PVR ICON was first brought to Mumbai in 2015 and is currently also present in Delhi.

With the two launches, PVR reached a screen count of 160 across 38 properties in Maharashtra with six properties and 35 screens in Pune. Together, the newly launched cinemas have a total capacity of 2,307 seats and are spread across 78,416 sq. ft, with 1,366 seats allotted to the six-screen PVR ICON and 941 seats to the four-screen regular PVR multiplex.

“Pune is a tier-two city that has done fairly well for us,” said Gautam Dutta, chief executive officer, PVR Ltd. “It contributes 13-14% of our revenue from the western region of the country and 5% of the company’s overall earnings. It’s a price-sensitive market currently but we expect that to stabilize in the next few years as people are exposed to branding strategies. It has huge potential.”

The rapidly evolving digital entertainment market in India, with American streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, apart from a host of local movie and music platforms, does not deter PVR or impact its belief in the big-screen experience.

“We don’t believe we’re just showing movies, we’re providing holistic out-of-home entertainment. We wouldn’t spend on a category if we thought it was a risky proposition,” Dutta said. “People need to come out of their homes and bond with each other and India anyway is an entertainment-starved nation. There aren’t too many options apart from movies and that is why this is a comfortable path for us.”

PVR, which reported a box office revenue increase of 11% in the June quarter, has opened new screens in cities like Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Ranchi and Moradabad recently and is looking at expanding in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mysore next.

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