Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600.
The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox Group, told Variety.
Inox will spend on an average $350,000 per screen, amounting to a total investment of $316 million for 900 screens. The company is currently India’s second largest cinema chain behind market leader PVR, which has 800 screens and plans to add 800-1,000 more over four years at a cost of $422 million.
Inox recently completed a $7 million refurbishment of an existing property in Mumbai and relaunched it as a 11-screen ‘Megaplex.’ It is the world’s first multiplex with six different cinema formats under one roof.
These include Inox’s homegrown formats Insignia, a luxury experience with leather recliners, butlers and in-cinema multi-cuisine dining, and Kiddles, a multicoloured cinema aimed at children that is equipped with a lobby featuring stuffed toys and a candy bar.
Other formats include: Korean giant CGV’s ScreenX, which offers a 270 degree experience, with projection on three walls; U.S. company MediaMation’s MX4D where the on-screen projection is augmented by motion and effects programmed into seats and theater walls; Samsung’s Onyx LED; and IMAX.
With these immersive technologies, Inox is hoping to lure audiences away from consuming streaming content on individual screens and back into cinemas. “We built the Megaplex with so many formats is to ‘de-couch’ our consumers,” said Jain. “While our filmmakers are improving their content, it is our job as exhibitors to improve the quality of the cinema viewing experience.”
Inox’s next Megaplex will be opened in Lucknow in six months time, and after that plans are to launch two such properties every year in India’s tier one cities.
Inox Leisure is part of the $3 billion Inox Group that has business interests including industrial gases, chemicals, engineering plastics, cryogenics and renewable energy.