Northeast, April 10: Multiplex chain Carnival Cinemas has announced its entry into Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, through a branding deal with Louis Entertainment, a management group, and consultant for cinemas in the Northeast.
The company aims to explore places like Naharlagun, Morigaon, Dhemaji and Barpeta as part of this deal, Carnival Cinemas will provide Standard operating procedures for operating cinemas, onscreen and off-screen advertisement support, audit, and training of staff, movie programming, and food and beverages upkeep to Louis Entertainment.
“The post-covid scenario for the media and the entertainment industry seems very promising, especially in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest among the seven states in the north the eastern region of India and we are privileged to be the first national multiplex chain to start operations here,” Kunal Sawhney, senior vice-president, operations and F&B, Carnival Cinemas said in a statement adding that the first project—a single screen theatre at Azara, near Guwahati the airport in Assam—will be operational next month onwards.
To be sure, several multiplex players are setting aside concerns about financial stress triggered by coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty of audiences returning to theatres in the near future.
Some months ago, Fun Cinemas, under parent Cinepolis, had opened a three-screen property in Gujarat, while Miraj Cinemas had launched in Raichur and is looking at opening properties in Delhi, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, PVR Ltd which just launched in Mysuru plans to invest between ₹100 crores and ₹150 crores in setting up new properties.
Many of these were commitments made before the pandemic, said theatre owners and trade analysts, while others are being added by the fall in real estate costs across the country.
The pandemic has definitely hit the cinema business but it has also given an opportunity for real estate expansion.
Rentals, a big part of the balance sheet, which was sky high before covid, are down by at least 30-40% right now depending upon the city, the size of the mall, and the overall development, theatre owners say.