Digiplex, India's mobile theatre van that educates and also entertains

It is an inflatable air conditioned all-weather structure with seating to accommodate 120-150 people

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Dec 21, 2017 8:46 AM

Innovation is the key to a successful business. Gone are the days when people would go to the theatre to watch films primarily because it has a big screen. Pictures Times CEO Sushil Choudhari's innovative product called Digiplex will now bring the theatre to you.

Digiplex, a mobile theatre vans, run by Picture Times, offers the audiences high-quality movie-viewing experience with HD interactive screen with live chat function and 5.1 Dolby surround sound. It is an inflatable air conditioned all weather structure with seating to accommodate 120 -150 people .

Speaking to exchange4media, Choudhari shared that he had done the pilot run in 2015 after devoting one and  a half year to build this product. “The product is ready and now we are going to commercially launch it from January 26, 2018 onwards with 25 units on the ground covering Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, UP, MP and Maharashtra,” he said.

This mobile digital movie theatre was especially designed for rural India. He said, “India is very low on cinema screens. In India for 1 billion people we have seven screens where across the world we have 125 screens per million. We need to build at least 25-30 screens per million which would mean that India needs to establish 40000 cinema halls still. Currently we have 2200 multiplexes so we thought of building 3000 such screens across India. We are looking at being the largest cinema chain in the country. The aim is to build a multi dollar billion business in the next five years.”

The company is following the industry standard when it comes to distribution. “Every movie is acquired by a revenue share for big movies, they give them 50-60 per cent revenue share and 40-45 per cent on the weekends, this is the revenue share followed by the industry and we follow the same model,” Choudhari informed.

The revenue model for the digital theatre will be a ticket, which is priced at Rs 30-50. Advertising from government and private companies and marketplace are the other ways for revenue generation.

Picture Times has invested heavily in this venture. “Every unit has an investment of Rs 50 lakh, its an innovation because it's impossible for the people to get a digital theatre at such a small figure. For doing such a kind of theatre otherwise you need an investment around Rs 1.5-2 crore.” The company will raise the funds through private equity investors," he said.

Additionally, it is being used as a platform to interact with the Government, local leaders and also has a space which can be used as an office for various purposes. It is also a platform which enables and can be used for ecommerce and other essential commodities on ground.

The CEO said, “We created this as a digital tool, which can help government and private company to connect with the last mile. The interior of India has no connectivity. This mobile digital theatre made on a truck or van is basically also an office, movie theatre, market or information centre on wheels. Today, the Government is using this as a service centre and also as an education centre.”

Chief Ministers of Goa and Chhattisgarh even termed Digiplex as 'E3' for entertainment, education and empowerment.

The digital theatre will go to three locations in a region where it will be placed for 30 days. The education will start at 6.30am, followed by agriculture education while 11am - 8pm will be for cinema viewing.

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