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Indian Multiplexes Add Modernity to Expansion Drive

Chains add IMAX, Atmos features, Inox replaces Fame brand.

HONG KONG — A trio of unconnected developments this week point to a modernization and further development of India’s still small multiplex cinema sector.

  • Cinepolis, the Mexican cinema chain, is to open its first IMAX theater in India, the company announced. The giant screen will be part of the 14-screen Viviana multiplex being built in the outer Mumbai suburb of Thane. The announcement takes to 15 the number of IMAX theaters open or under contract to open in India.
  • Dolby Laboratories and Indian digital cinema integrator Real Image Media Technologies unveiled a deal on Monday for real Image to buy a minimum of 50 Dolby Atmos processors. The Atmos system creates an immersive sound experience and was introduced in early 2012. It has been installed by several Indian chains including PVR, Inox and Mayajaal. Real Image says it will use the Atmos systems throughout its facilities and among clients in the Indian subcontinent. It will also install over 200 Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor CP850 units in client chains, allowing cinemas to be Atmos compatible.
  • Inox Leisure has begun rebranding the Fame Cinemas chain it acquired some two years ago. The Fame website has been closed and Inox will begin the relabeling process in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. Some 88 screens at 24 Fame properties will be added to the Inox brand for a combined group with 284 screens in 73 locations.

    Inox acquired the privately owned circuit after a prolonged shareholder and courtroom battle with Reliance Big Cinemas. The purchase – temporarily – made Inox the biggest chain in India, though it has since been overtaken by PVR.

    “All Fame theatres now have the latest projection technology and are 3D-enabled,” said Inox Leisure CEO Alok Tandon. Tandon also said that the company is busy building further capacity. “We expect to add 45-47 screens across cities like Jaipur, Kolkata, Vizag, Lucknow, Gurgaon and Greater Noida,” he said.

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