Essel lines up Rs800 cr for 1,500 screens

Essel lines up Rs800 cr for 1,500 screens

New Delhi: Essel Group-promoted cinema exhibition and realty business, E-City Ventures, would invest Rs800 crore to set up 1,500 screens across the country by 2011.

E-City Ventures operates Fun Cinemas, E-City Digital Cinema and retail property management E-City Property and Management Services, among others.

The company would invest Rs500 crore in Fun Cinemas to set up 300 screens across India, E-City Ventures chief executive officer Atul Goel said. It has already invested Rs100 crore in this venture.

While the rest of the Rs300 crore would be spent on E-City Digital Cinema (EDC) venture, through which the company buys out single screens and refurbish it with digital technology. EDC is currently operational with 54 screens and the company plans to add 250 screens by end of this fiscal and take this number to 1,200 by the end of 2011, Goel said.

“We will focus more on acquiring single screens as 50% of the movie business comes from single screens," he said.

Goel said the business in metros, where multiplexes are common, has become more competitive as the market is divided among many players.