The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cine station for the action
- Rs 14-cr Bypass multiplex aims to be GenX hangout
What: 89 Cinemas
Where: beside Swabhumi
With: four screens, a cine club, video games parlour, cola-popcorn-candy counters
Hall capacity: 1,028 (maximum 400, minimum 177)
Target date: May-end
Target audience: youth

The young just want to have fun and the city is finally giving them a few addresses to be what they want to be.

After the Forum experience, it’s time to welcome a little bit of Delhi’s Priya complex on the EM Bypass. The curtains go up on the action at Calcutta’s second multiplex “by May-end”.

The Rs 14-crore Swabhumi multiplex project (to be called 89 Cinemas) will comprise four screens, a cine club, video games parlour and a cola-popcorn counter.

The 1,028-seater multiplex in Swabhumi, at the heart of the Bypass heritage plaza’s reinvention formula, promises to be not just four screens of film-viewing pleasure, but a “favoured destination” for the city’s GenX.

Developed by Calcutta Cine Pvt Ltd (CCPL), a joint venture between the Bengal Ambuja Group with its associates and Consolidated Entertainment Pvt Ltd (CEPL), a personal touch for its target audience is a priority.

“Calcutta is experiencing the multiplexing transition at this juncture and we would like to make this shift as smooth as possible through a host of customer-centric programmes, with a sharp focus on youngsters. We want our property to become the most happening hangout for the city’s youth by also leveraging Swabhumi’s inherent strengths,” says Prashant Srivastava, general manager, CCPL.

The 35-year-old computer professional is not short on domain knowledge in this area, having been involved with the “country’s first multiplex” PVR Anupam 4 in Saket and the Priya Cinema complex (PVR Priya 1) in Vasant Kunj.

The key is to woo the “largely untapped” potential of the youth segment in the city. From teenage counselling on common problems by qualified psychologists to holding workshops and debates on contemporary issues and projection-room visits for schoolchildren, an entire gamut of out-of-the-box activities and events are being planned.

Surprise tickets to your favourite action flick on your birthday or a table for two at your preferred restaurant on your anniversary or live interactive sessions with the director and cast to get behind the scenes of movie magic or a glitzy ramp walk could lie in store.

Computerised and web-enabled ticketing will be some of the convenience features, besides assorted loyalty schemes “full of surprises” to create an “extended family”.

“The needs of the audience must be appreciated. For example, the apparently simple trick of slotting it right can make or break a movie,” says Srivastava.

The structure and elevation have been designed by Morphogenesis of Delhi, interiors are by Mumbai-based Era Architects and audio-visual consultant Jal Mistry will bring in his hi-tech sound design norms.

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