The arrival of multiplexes in Mysuru and their increasing numbers appear set to give single-screen cinemas in the city a run for their money.
After Inox at Mall of Mysore and DRC at BM Habitat Mall, PVR Cinemas has not only started screening films at four screens at Garuda Mall, but is also set to begin operations at Forum City Centre soon.
But, are the single-screen cinemas ready to face the competition posed to them by multiplexes?
While the number of multiplexes in Mysuru has increased over the last few years, the number of single-screen cinemas has dwindled. But, President of Mysuru Theatre Owners Federation Rajaram M.R. said the closure of single-screen cinemas actually began much before the multiplexes arrived.
In the mid-eighties, Mysuru had a total of 22 cinemas. But now, their number stands at just 14 with many like Shalimar, Opera, Ranjit, Regency, Chamundeshwari, Rathna, Vidyaranya, Venkateshwara, Ganesh, and Sreenand winding up operations.
Mr. Rajaram said the closure could be attributed more to maladministration, bad management and family disputes rather than multiplexes drawing away their patrons.
But, multiplexes, which offer a better movie viewing experience, are posing a challenge to single-screen cinemas. “Most of the single-screen cinemas had been established more than seven decades ago. The newest ones in the city such as Saraswathi are also more than 30 years old”, Mr. Rajaram said emphasising the need for the owners to invest and modernise with the latest technological equipments and tools.
Single-screen cinemas should ensure ease of buying tickets for the patrons, besides offering them better film-viewing experience, ambience and comfort, he said.
However, it will be difficult for them to offer parking space for their patrons. “Most of our theatres are several decades old and situated in the heart of the city. From where can be get parking space now?”, said Jeevan, owner of Rajkamal in Shivarampet.
In contrast, multiplexes are situated in shopping malls that have adequate parking space, which making film-going a more convenient experience for the patrons.
But, Mr. Rajaram said single-screen cinemas offer movie watching experience at affordable rates. Not only are tickets available at an affordable price, even the snacks are not as expensive as they are at multiplexes.
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