Hind cinema: in makeover mode. Picture by Bishwarup Datta
Fifty-five-year-old Hind Cinema is set to be the first standalone cinema hall in the city to turn into a multiplex. Curtains will lift on the two new screens of the Ganesh Chandra Avenue hall in November or December.
The combined seating capacity will be 750, down from existing 999, to make space for a food court.
“Movie watching has changed. Catching a film is now a part of a day out with friends and family. We are trying to move with the times and standalone movie halls can no longer be a viable business option,” said Vikram Jaiswal, director, Hind Palace Pvt Ltd, which owns the hall.
Over the past few years, halls like Tiger, Lighthouse and Orient have closed down due to various problems – from union trouble to lack of footfall.
“There is no doubt that we are competing with other multiplex chains for footfall. So, we have to offer what others are offering,” he added.
According to him, there will be an auditorium on the ground floor and another on the second floor, separated by a 75-seater food court.
Both screens will boast push-back seats and Dolby Digital sound. Interiors and show schedule would be along the lines of other multiplexes.
Cinemax, a multiplex chain in Mumbai, will provide software support for Hind Cinema’s makeover to Hind Cinemax.
“We will look after the infrastructure and administration,” said Jaiswal, explaining the makeover.
Unlike most halls, the owner of the Hind Cinema building and the hall is the same. Halls like Jyoti, Roxy and Paradise are rented properties and cannot effect major changes easily.