If your interest in the reel world is wavering, get ready for a premium cinema experience at Cinema Europa and Lounge in PVR Gurgaon. Since Gurgaon got two new multiplexes last year – PVR at Metropolitan Mall and DT Cinemas at DLF City Centre – across the road from each other, both multiplexes have been planning some unconventional moves in their continuing battle for more footfalls.
And the battle seems to be heating up. PVR Gurgaon has expanded its 5-screen multiplex with the launch of two luxurious auditoriums sporting vibrant red reclining seats, double armrests and ample legroom. In addition to the opulent environs, patrons enjoy preferential access to the bar and restaurant – Europa Lounge.’ “Cinema Europa and Lounge is a premium facility; it will not have ticket counters, it will have desks attended by stewards, who will deliver the tickets to the 'guests,'” says Ajay Bijli, Managing Director, PVR Ltd. “It is our endeavour to redefine the cinematic experience with an auditorium, lounge and bar.”
Europa Cinema has a premium ticket price of Rs 200, including a 20% discount coupon for food and beverages at the lounge. Additionally, patrons can request for their meal to be served in the hall; a special ‘movie menu’, which extends beyond the standard movie snacks, has been designed to ensure comfort of eating at the seat itself.
Food is meant to provide the “guests” a value-added service — a proposition that has been rendered necessary by the increasing competition. Is PVR diversifying into the Food & Beverage industry? “No, we are in the cinema business. The lounge has been developed and will be run and managed by Rajiv and Jasjiv Saluja of R J Investments. The Food & Beverage industry is not our business,” clarifies Bijli.
The choice of movies played at Europa Cinema will be an eclectic mix. The inaugural screening includes path-breaking films like Lord of the Rings--Return of the Kings, Maqbool, Le Divorce, and Master and Commander. PVR will soon be enrolling members for the Europa film society; patrons will be invited to the screening of niche Indian films, Hollywood blockbusters and internationally acclaimed films.
PVR’s expansion plans primarily focus on Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. “We are developing an 11-screen multiplex in Bangalore, which is part of a 3,50,000 sq. ft. family entertainment complex being developed by The Prestige Group. On the anvil are several new multiplexes for 5 and 8 screens in Juhu and Mulund, Mumbai respectively and a 5-screen multiplex in Hyderabad. In the Capital and NCR, we plan to open a boutique cinema at Plaza and a 2-screen cinema in Faridabad. Moreover, we have signed sites in Indore, Goregaon and Phoenix Mills, Mumbai and two sites in Delhi, one being a 3-screen multiplex in East Delhi Mall and another site of 5 screens in Saket,” reveals Bijli.
PVR has tied up with ICICI Venture to fund Rs 38-crore of the Rs 100-crore expansion plan. The balance Rs 62 crore is coming by way of Rs 40-crore debit funding and accruals. And despite the crowding in of the multiplex market, Bijli says that with his expansion plan, he is targeting whopping Rs 250-crore revenue by the year 2005-06, a substantial jump over the revenue of Rs 60 crore in 2002-03.