Multiplexes, Changing Technology Spell Doom For Single Screens
Multiplexes, Changing Technology Spell Doom For Single Screens
 05 March 2017

The glimpses of its architectural grandeur are still visible in the high ceilings and the colonial-style arches.The viewers are dwindling and those who wander in are put off by the shabby seats and poor ambience. Once a thriving entertainment hotspot frequented by Bollywood stars Raj Kapoor and Nargis, Regal cinema is on the verge of closing down.Time, technology and the changing taste of the movie-goers have taken a toll on the 84-year-old iconic cinema, and it plans to join the list of single screen theatres which have given way to swanky multiplexes."We are planning to go the multiplex way. We are in talks with PVR to change Regal into a multiplex and have already got permission from the authorities concerned. There is no point in renovating and staying single screen. There is no future," Regal manager Roop Ghai told PTI.Joginder Mahajan, a film distributor and treasurer of Motion Pictures Association in Delhi and UP, says if it happens, Regal will be among the 50 theatres in the city that have pulled down their shutters in the last decade.Golcha cinema, another important landmark in the citys theatre history, has already shut down amid speculation that it will be converted into a multiplex.Its owner, NR Saini, cites "high entertainment tax, government apathy and absence of a revenue generating model" for the bleak future of single screen theatres.Delhis Amba and Seble cinema are also likely to close.The situation is similarly grim in West Bengal. Krishna Daga, the vice-president of Eastern India Motion Pictures (EIMPA), claims that out of 220 single screens, 100 may close down any day.Kolkata has already lost prominent theatres like Metro (started in 1935), Globe (1922), Lighthouse (1938) and Rupbani.Some theatres, however, have managed to survive the onslaught of multiplex boom by renovating and banking on the nostalgia. Delite in Delhi and Royal Opera House in Mumbai are the perfect examples of that.Delite, which opened in 1954, is an iconic theatre that continues to do brisk business while its other property, Delite Diamond, a 158-seater, is its answer to the multiplexes."We have a loyal audience. We strive to be technologically advanced while keeping the ticket prices under check," says Rajkumar Malhotra, the manager of Delite. (MORE) PTI SHD/JCH/JUR/SUS BK VJ JCH

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