Priya Entertainment to venture into multiplexes in Bengal and Bhutan

MUMBAI:A Kolkata-based film production, distribution and exhibition company is foraying into the multiplex business with 12 screens planned in West Bengal and Bhutan, indicating that there is still space for players outside the big corporates.

Priya Entertainment, the company that owns Priya Cinema in Kolkata, plans to invest between Rs 500-600 million for the 12 screens. It will roll out a six-screen Themeplex in Access Mall at Rajarhat near Kolkata on 25 December. Of the six screens, 4 of them will be theme-based.

"We plan to invest Rs 500-600 million, most of which will be through internal accruals. At Rajarhat, we will have theme-based screens. We will, forinstance, have a screen that has a ‘Egyptian‘ theme. The second has an ‘Underwater‘ theme, the third a ‘Galaxy‘ theme while the fourth has a ‘Caves‘ theme," says Priya Entertainments general manager Chaity Ghosh.

Then there are two other projects - a 4-screen multiplex at Durgapur and a 2-screen multiplex at Thimpu in Bhutan that is being made by Tai Industries Ltd., Bhutan. "Priya Entertainment will run the multiplexes under a management contract basis," conveys Ghosh.

Priya Entertainment also plans to open a multiplex in Sonapur in Kolkata. The land is owned by the company.

Priya Cinema, however, will not beconverted into a multiplex. "We don‘t find that there is any need to change the current single-screen into a multiplex because we upgrade our theatre from time-to-time and the cinema hall has all the required facilities today," says Ghosh.

Priya Entertainment will price its multiplex tickets at a maximum rate of Rs 70 and a minimum of Rs 50. "We would be able to cut down costs by 40 per cent by monitoring our electricity and maintenance costs. With a moderate pricing, we think that we will increase our viewership and with a mere 20-25 per cent occupancy per day, would enable the company to break even in the first three years of operation," avers Ghosh.

Priya Entertainment currently manages four multi-complexes in Bengal - Gitanjali Cultural Complex in Bolpur, two complexes in Burdwan (Shrishti Cultural Complex and Vidyasagar Memorial Hall) and one other in Dinajpur in North Bengal.

It may be noted that PEPL, under its production house Poornima Pictures, produced award-winning films like Goopi Gaayin Baagha Baayin, Aranyer Din Ratri, Hatey Bazare in the past while its distribution wing Piyali Films has been distributing films of UTV, Walt Disney, NDTV Lumiere, Warner, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures etc.

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