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Cinema Redux: No ticket price hike, as pent up demand to fill restricted capacity

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Centre okays cinema reopening if states agreeNew Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) The restricted capacity at multiplexes will not lead to a ticket price hike, rather the pent-up demand is expected to accelerate the revival process, said Inox Leisure.

In a conversation with IANS, the company’s Chief Executive Alok Tandon said that new offerings will be introduced to attract customers.

“There will be no change in the ticket prices,” Tandon told IANS.

“We will continue to adopt the same formula which takes into account the paying propensity, cost structure, day of the week and the prevailing season.”

Notably, the Covid-battered business is reopening on October 15th after seven months of lockdown, all across the country barring a few states.

The sector has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions implemented to curb its spread.

Some estimates have pegged the combined losses faced by the cinema exhibition industry at a massive Rs 10,000 crore, since the imposition of lockdown measures.

Undeterred by the massive challenge ahead, Tandon said: “We are completely geared up and prepared for the new normal, which would assign topmost priority to safety and hygiene.”

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Besides, he said that company will introduce new offers and attractive propositions.

“We look to curate special offers for the members of our loyalty program ‘Inox Rewards’,” Tandon said.

“Inox will innovate with private screenings, where families or small er groups of guests can book the entire auditorium and enjoy the content of t heir choice.”

According to him, 50 per cent seating is an optimistic beginning, after remaining shut for 7 months.

“Most importantly, we believe that with a large part of the working population working from home, along with the pent-up demand for giant screen entertainment, will evenly distribute the hype across all 7 days of the week, and all days of the month, and we will see our guests opting for flexibility,” Tandon said.

“This would help us to work around with the 50 per cent seating in t he immediate future.”

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According to Tandon, regional cinema and upcoming movies will be able to satisfy customers initial entertainment demand.

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“There are quite a few major Hindi titles, which are complete, or are near completion, and are extremely promising from the star cast and content perspective,” he said.

“We also have our eyes set on the slew of releases in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali and Punjabi, which are slated to release over the next 3 to 4 months.”

“It is extremely encouraging to see new content being released in Bengal during Durga Puja, which includes five new movies. For the immediate content screening purposes, we will rely on library content and old blockbusters for a couple of weeks.”

Inox Leisure is amongst India’s largest multiplex chains with 147 multiplexes and 626 screens in 68 cities.

At present, cinemas and multiplexes continue to remain in the list of prohibited activities till Oct 15th.

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