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PVR to launch digital cinema in small towns, plans Rs 2 billion investment

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MUMBAI: PVR Cinemas, which runs a chain of multiplexes, is making a strategic foray into smaller towns through digital theatres under the "PVR Talkies" brand. The company plans to invest Rs 2 billion towards this.

The first to come under this plan in the last week of September are theatres in Aurangabad and Latur which are digital ready. The computerised tickets will be priced in the range between Rs 40 and Rs 60.

Aurangabad and Latur will have three screens each and a seating capacity of 1151 and 1148 respectively.

The company plans to have 200 PVR Talkies across 13 states and over 70 cities in the first phase. Says PVR Cinemas chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli, "In 1997, we enhanced the way India went to the movies. Now, in the second stage of our mission, we are taking our enhancement to more and more places in the country. With PVR Talkies, the people's cinema has arrived. It is my fervent hope that PVR Talkies will induce people to come back to the big screen and rediscover the true magic of the movies."

The digital theatres in the tier II and tier III cities will work on the principle of digitised content being distributed to theatres through satellite or fibre. They will be uploaded to a digital cinema server. Digital projectors will be used for screening, enabling the entire system to have wide releases of a movie across the country.

"Pan-India openings will also guarantee larger release made available across different territories leading to nationwide screenings, which will in turn ensure better return on investments for producers, distributors among others. It would also be extremely helpful in curbing piracy," the company said.

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