DVD library chain Cinema Paradiso enters Bangalore

BANGALORE: After making its presence felt in Chennai and Hyderabad, DVD library cum theater chain Cinema Paradiso has entered the Bangalore market. The Bangalore shop was inaugurated on 25 September.



Cinema Paradiso deals only with original DVDs and the most interesting aspect is that there is something for everyone who walks into the store. The store is segmented into 14 different sections where each section has an exhaustive collection of titles in that broad genre.

The sections include action and adventure, comedy, romance, drama, Hindi titles, horror, thriller, music videos, classics, regional languages, kids and family, says an official release.

Cinema Paradiso's agenda "Say no to piracy" seems to have earned the firm the distinction of being the first DVD rental library to obtain a legal licence to run the DVD rental business.



Santhosh (centre) with Kamal Hassan inside Cinema Paradiso home theatre

The innovative idea of a DVD rental shop with home theater facility has been conceptualised by three youngsters: Anand, Richard and Santhosh. While Anand and Santhosh - software engineers by profession - have diverted into filmmaking and cinematography respectively; Richard, brother of famous actress Shalini, is an upcoming hero in various South Indian languages films. The trio launched Cinema Paradiso in Chennai last year and the overwhelming response inspired them expand to Hyderabad and now Bangalore within a span of 15 months.

While speaking to Indiantelevision.com a day after the inauguration of their Bangalore branch by veteran film star and recipient of the Padmashree award, Kamal Hassan, Santosh offers, "Suppose you want to watch a movie with friends and didn't have the equipment available, we'd offer our facilities for you. Besides membership fees, you'd have to pay a rental charge of Rs 1000 per show. We have facilities for seating 12 people comfortably. Paradiso is a chain network that deals exclusively with DVD's and comprises an exhaustive collection of only original titles from all over the world."

Santhosh also revealed the network's plans to expand all over India and then move to the International market as well. He claims that Cinema Paradiso runs about 15 - 20 shows a month. "Not many persons would be able pay or be willing to pay Rs 1000 per show. To keep our clientele exclusive, we have a high membership caution deposit of Rs 2000 for individuals and Rs 1000 for corporates, the money is refundable, of course, but the additional processing fees and application fees totaling Rs 1000 is not."

"Our store specialty includes sections like special interest, world cinema, commercials (advertising) and also a magazine section targeted at the bookworms. We are classified as home viewing segment, as against the public viewing segment, for which at least 20 viewers are required as per Indian Laws. We pay professional taxes, and don't come under the purview of entertainment tax. When we import a DVD directly, the copy is sent to the piracy cell before being sold or rented out," says Santhosh.



"Whether a client wants to see a short documentary of a few minutes or some feature film classics such as War & Peace, our charges are the same for use of our home theater, we can't charge rent based on the number of minutes a client uses our theater." Explaining the subject further, Santhosh says, "In case a group wants to analyse or study a particular film, say an ad film, he can do so by using our services. This would be quiet a cost effective way of doing things."

Cinema Paradiso boasts of a clientele of some of the biggest names in the film industry including Kamal Haasan, Mani Ratnam, AR Rahman, Santosh Sivan, Rajeev Menon, Ram Gopal Varma, Raj Kumar Santoshi, Prakashraj, Revathy, Sabu Cyril, Thota Tharani, Shankar, Sharad Haksar and Balu Mahendra.

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