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New Delhi: Multiplex chain PVR Cinemas has reopened one of its oldest properties Priya located in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar area in the P[XL] format, reiterating its faith in the luxury segment and the film exhibition business, in general. 

Present in the city since 1978, Priya was first revamped in 1990 with 944 seats and had closed down a few months before the covid-19 pandemic to be remodelled to its current version with 316 seats and upgraded technology. The cinema will be operational starting Wednesday evening.

P[XL] is a premium cinema format owned by PVR in which auditoriums are equipped with extra-large screens, enhanced laser projection systems and advanced sound.

“There has been stress in the film business over the past few months but we also saw an opportunity to rescale this property that has always enjoyed a great profile of consumption and lineage," Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd said.

Offering extra legroom with fewer seats, enhanced screen projection and Dolby ATMOS sound, Datta said the theatre will remain a single screen with 16 recliners at the back of the auditorium and regular seats otherwise. Tickets will be priced between 200-450 for the front seats and 450-750 for the recliners.

To be sure, media experts point out that movie-going audiences locked up at home for more than a year have gotten used to the convenience of watching web shows and films across languages on OTT platforms. As a result, cinemas may have to invest in luring them back through luxury formats -- smaller and more plush auditoriums, larger, high-tech screens and customized menus.

Besides, producers and studios are lining up big tent-pole films in Hindi and southern languages and Hollywood spectacles are also on the way, necessitating big-screen experiences.

“There has been a pause to the film business but consumers will come back. People are now looking at films as a three-hour holiday and luxury has always been our forte. Even though majority of Indian audiences seek affordable rates, it has become important after the pandemic for the whole experience to feel worthwhile for people," Datta said adding that the luxury segment makes up 12% of the chain’s total screen count.

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