UFO Moviez to digitize 1000 PSTL cinemas

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MUMBAI: Digital cinema network UFO Moviez and Chennai based Pyramid Saimira Theatres Limited (PSTL) have come together for the digitization of 1000 (PSTL) theatres over the next three years across India. UFO Moviez will be investing a total of Rs 1.5 billion (Rs 150 crores) to provide end to end digital cinema solutions for the theatres in the Pyramid Saimira chain, which is being touted as being the largest integrated digital cinema chain in the world.

UFO Moviez, spearheaded by founder directors Raaja Kanwar, Sanjay Gaikwad and Usman Fayaz, has ambitious plans of creating the largest chain of digital cinemas houses worldwide by 2007 in India with 2000 installations across the country at a total investment of Rs 3 billion (Rs 300 crores).

UFO India Pvt. Ltd. executive director and CEO Sanjay Gaikwad said, “We anticipate that this tie up with Pyramid Group will chart the way for the digital revolution happening in the field of cinema exhibition. A single integrated chain of 1000 digital cinemas all over India will provide producers and distributors a unique opportunity for saturated wide spread release in the week of release itself. Worldwide, there is tremendous excitement about this technology, which is being hailed as the next great leap in film distribution and exhibition.”

UFO India Pvt. Ltd. director Usman Fayaz added, “Pyramid Saimira has tremendous presence in the southern states and are now looking at expanding to other territories in India. This agreement is indeed a step forward in our future plans of creating a truly global network and becoming the world’s undisputed leaders in digital cinema network.”

“The states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka between themselves have 59 per cent of the cinema halls in India. We expect at least 50 per cent of our conversions to UFO Digital system to come from the south market. Unlike the Hindi speaking states, the four southern states are highly compartmentalized as regards film viewing and exhibition in terms of language and we expect a high density of theatres in these states.”

PSTL managing director PS Saminathan said, “PSTL plans to have 2000 screens under its full operation management spread across 1550 locations by the year 2009-2010. The agreement with UFO enables PSTL to reach this target faster since it frees PSTL capital from Plant & Machinery and enables PSTL to lock in more points of presence faster.”

“This agreement with UFO will bring in the very best in digital cinema technology to PSTL theatres. The expanded footprint combined with UFO’s model will create a revolution in the cinema exhibition business,” he added.