| The seating arrangement in INOX, at Forum, on Elgin Road
Four-screens with stadium seating for 1,015 movie buffs, Christie's projectors and Harkness screens, Dolby digital EX 3-way surround sound with JBL speakers, flexi-pricing and computerised ticketing, Refuel counter for theme theatre food, a magic mix of Bengali, Hindi, English movies.
Come Saturday, going to the movies will mean a split screen — you either go to INOX or go to the rest. The multiplex on the sixth floor of Forum, on Elgin Road, with four different-sized auditoriums, opens this Saturday, with advance bookings for Mumbai Matinee, Zameen, Chupke Se, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, starting on September 26. “Our aim is to steer the crowds back to theatres by creating the ultimate movie experience, with the best in projection and acoustic systems, to ensure the film is seen and heard at optimum levels,” stressed Inox Leisure Ltd CEO Shishir Baijal.
The chain’s third multiplex in the country, after Pune and Vadodara, will bring to Calcuttans a mix of eight to nine Bengali, Hindi and English movie titles, with 21-23 screenings under one roof on a single day through staggered show timings.
Bengali will be a big focus. The big-splash ‘local’ debut is slated for Saptami, with Chokher Bali. With a band of bold new directors straying off the beaten script, INOX is keen to provide an extended platform to facilitate Tollywood’s turnaround with its flexi-format.
“Many quality movies are withdrawn after a short stint because of the rigid, single-screen model. We have the right-sized theatres (seating 171 to 348) to ensure that not just blockbusters, but even films canned for a niche audience get a longer run,” explained Baijal.
The Rs 10-crore cineplex will offer flexi-pricing through the day, ranging from Rs 50 for a matinee show ticket, to Rs 80-110 for afternoon shows and Rs 90-110 for evening shows, while weekend rates will be Rs 110-130, with a movie kicking off every 40 minutes.
A fully-automated box office will provide computerised ticketing “for the first time in the city” to ensure transparency and plans are afoot to introduce home delivery of tickets from end-October, all to achieve a weekly footfall of 15,000 soon.
To create a “complete entertainment destination”, INOX has also concentrated on cuisine. Refuel, a self-managed unit with theme theatre menu, offers a range of flavoured Vogel popcorns, combo meals, finger food and soft drinks.
Apart from the second INOX at the Charles Correa-signature City Centre in Salt Lake set to open early next year, the group is also looking at a third property in town.