By the end of this fiscal year, PVR Cinemas will have all its existing screens equipped with 2K Digital Systems. It will thereby be the first cinema exhibition circuit to achieve this feat in India. Always known to provide the best cinema experience to its patrons, PVR is living to its reputation.
Scrabble Entertainment Ltd. (SEL) a Mumbai based company, which is India’s first and only DCI Compliant deploying entity in India, announced its partnership with PVR Cinemas today to convert all its screens to digital platform. PVR Cinemas, a leading theater chain with 162 operational screens across India, will convert its screens to digital with the help of SEL.
While 89 screens have already been converted, the rest of the 73 screens will be converted within the next fortnight with an initial investment of Rs. 21 crores. Going forward with their expansion plans, all the future PVR properties will be 2K DCI Compliant. The size of the entire partnership for digital conversion until December 2012 would be approximately Rs 66 Crore.
Ranjit Thakur, CEO, Scrabble Entertainment Ltd. highlighted “It is extremely encouraging to see the entire foot-print of a leading theatre chain go digital. Being one of the biggest & best theater chains in India, this partnership is a major step for India going completely digital by 2014. It is great to partner with PVR Cinemas as both of us strive at giving our patrons the best movie-viewing experience.”
Pramod Arora group President of PVR Cinemas elaborated, “The value, flexibility & quality that 2K digital provides is far beyond the differential cost difference when compared to any other digital platform in the country. The stellar image on screen substantially improves the overall viewing experience of the consumer. At PVR we have taken a conscious decision to always go with the best available technology from time to time“.
Earlier this year, UFO Moviez, India’s biggest digital cinema player had acquired majority stake in Scrabble Entertainment. They currently hold 52% of Scrabble. Scrabble’s ability to fund this deal is primarily due to this partnership with UFO.
Kapil Agrawal, Director of UFO Moviez added that leading exhibitors such as PVR Cinemas understand the importance of digital platforms and are planning to adapt to the technology at an initial stage before print goes obsolete by 2014. We hope to see many more exhibitors such as PVR Cinemas taking this initiative.” UFO Movies holds a 52% stake in Scrabble Entertainment.
The partnership will be based upon an innovative rental model conceived by Scrabble Entertainment Ltd. which will include the services of programming, flexibility logs of movies advertising, Theatre Management System and a central library ensuring the viewers a great theatrical experience.
Scrabble was formed in November 2007. Scrabble, being India’s first and only 2K DCI Compliant Cinema deployment entity, aims to convert every multiplex in the country to the 2K Digital Cinema Platform. The company has already contracted with the leading Exhibitors, Producers & Distributors in India to facilitate this conversion. Scrabble Entertainment acts as an intermediary between content providers, including major studios and independent distributors, and the exhibitor. Under a Virtual Print Fee (VPF) business model, the company will finance the exhibitors’ digital transition by collecting a negotiated “virtual print fee” from movie distributors & producers.
The company has recently commenced a roll out of DCI screens internationally for 10 countries in the Middle East & Eastern Europe and has executed contracts with all major exhibitors in these countries for over 500 screens and expects to deploy over 1000 DCI screens by the end of 2012 in these countries.
This will start in the year 2011 and could cover the UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Syria and Jordon. Scrabble is going to be the 1st deployment entity in the Middle East regions in lines with the Indian DCI deployment market. To assist the expansion in this area, Scrabble has recently made Digital Cinema Deployment Agreements with 5 Major Hollywood Studios, like 20th Century Fox International, Paramount Images International, The Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, Universal Images International, Warner Bros Photos and Sony Pictures.