HDIL targets 150 Broadway multiplexes in five years

MUMBAI: Real estate development company HDIL is planning to set up over 150 theatres in major Indian cities over the next five years. The company’s multiplexes operate under the brand name – Broadway.

HDIL has been involved in the real estate business in Mumbai for almost three decades. The company launched its first Broadway theatre in Vasai about a year ago. The Vasai theater comprises three screens with a total of 1001 seats.

Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, HDIL Entertainment Division CEO Mukesh Gupta says, "We have plans to open 150 theaters in the next five years and we have already bought two properties in Pune where we will build three screens each; a five screen property in Gurgaon and a three screen property in Hyderabad. We are still looking at other cities and will take a decision soon."

Gupta, however, declined to reveal the total investment that the company will pump into the venture.

The company’s second theater in Mumbai was launched a few days back in Kandivali and comprises four screens with a total of 646 seats including 128 recliner seats. This will be followed with the opening of the Broadway Entertainment Centre at Bhandup around 1 August, 2009, comprising six screens with more than 1200 seats.

Post that, the company will inaugurate its property at Harmony Mall in Goregaon by end October or beginning November. HDIL also has plans to open the fourth one at Four Bunglows, Andheri in Mumbai, which will be a four screen theater.

Besides, the company is also looking at opening theaters in other cities and have already purchased properties in Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad.

According to Gupta, the major investment as far as buying properties are concerned is taken care of by HDIL, while the entertainment division invests in the interiors of the theaters. HDIL has so far invested around Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crores) for the Vasai theater and approximately Rs 75 million (Rs 7.5 crores) on the interiors of the Kandivali theater.

At a time when existing national multiplex chains like BIG Cinemas, PVR Cinemas, Inox Leisure, Cinemax India, Fame India and Fun Republic going ahead with their expansion plans, HDIL will also see competition from Mexican theatre chain Cinepolis, which recently forayed into India.

Speaking about the advantages that HDIL’s theatre chain will have over its competitors, Gupta says, "The biggest advantage that we have over the other chain of multiplexes is that all these theaters are our own properties and hence we don’t need to pay any rentals or even maintenance charges. Moreover, since most of our theaters are in our own malls we don’t have to look for vendors. Additionally, as compared to other multiplexes our ticket prices are much cheaper. The rates per ticket are around Rs 250 (recliner) on a higher scale and around Rs 80 on a lower scale."