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INOX opens cinemas in Dhanbad, Gurugram

India’s second-largest multiplex chain, INOX Leisure Ltd has announced the launch of a four-screen theatre in Dhanbad and a five-screen property in Gurugram. This is INOX’s second property in Jharkhand and ninth in Haryana.

With the film exhibition business seeing signs of recovery, multiplex chains such as PVR, INOX, Carnival, and Miraj are firming up expansion plans that have been in the works. According to an older Mint story, most chains are looking to add 20-30 screens each across the country. INOX is looking at opening 30 new screens before the end of the financial year, PVR is aiming at 20. These will be across small-towns and metros such as Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Rourkela, Bhilwara, and Kolkata, with an additional focus on deepening penetration into south India, which remains dominated by single-screen cinemas.

A regular multiplex property can cost between ₹3 crore and ₹3.5 crore to build, while premium cinemas can cost more. However, companies are clear this should be a time for caution since losses of the past year-and-a-half cannot be wiped off immediately.

Rajendar Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure Ltd had said the chain opened around 42 screens since the first phase of unlocking began last year. Still, many of these have only remained partially operational because of a lack of new content. “We’re looking at 30-35 more screens before March next year, for which work is on in full swing, and we’re awaiting licences for some,” Jyala had said, adding that the company hopes to commit more properties for construction if this recovery cycle doesn’t end abruptly. While new properties will be spread across tier-I, -II and -III towns, the chain is focusing on the south of India, which has, so far, seen lower multiplex penetration. Live Mint

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