Mumbai: Multiplex chain PVR Cinemas has commenced its initiative to install digital projectors across its properties in India. These digital projector installations, provided by California-based company Christie, would help them do away with the analog projectors and prints.
PVR’s Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, which opened in May this year, has seven such installations, one in each screen. PVR’s Juhu property in Mumbai also installed one digital projector recently. After eight digital installations, plans are afoot to have 20 such digital screens in the next two to three months.
PVR Cinemas CEO Amitabh Vardhan says, "We realized that digital is the way forward, hence we are putting great emphasis on it. The 2K digital projectors are compliant to play Bollywood and Hollywood movies. PVR is now looking at transforming existing analog screens into 2K digital ones, with an initial focus on Mumbai and Delhi multiplexes. We would also have these installations in all our new and upcoming properties as far as possible."
The focus for these digital projectors installations is currently limited to Tier I cities. This is because the cost of digital projectors is double than that of analog projectors and it also requires trained manpower to handle them. The existing analog projectors, which are being replaced by digital projectors, will be transferred to PVR’s Tier II and Tier III city theatres, where digital projectors will not be installed immediately.
Christie has signed an exclusive contract with Scrabble Entertainment in India to supply 200 Christie DLP Cinema projectors. As part of the deployment plan, Scrabble Entertainment forecasts to install a total of 1,750 projectors over the next five years, at an average of 350 projectors per year. Apart from PVR Cinemas, others who have signed up include Fame Cinemas, INOX and Cinemax.
These 2K digital projectors are DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) compliant and hence can play English movies from all Hollywood studios as well. Amongst the other digital cinema players in India, UFO Moviez has joined hands with Dolby earlier this year to bring the 2K digital cinema technology into India in order to cater to the Hollywood studios.