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NEW DELHI: India’s largest multiplex chain PVR Cinemas plans to have 20% of its screen count cater to the luxury segment over the next three years. The company that has signed an agreement with real estate developer M3M India to set up an eight-screen multiplex at 65th Avenue in Gurugram, a luxury retail project, said the traction for luxury, initially limited to India’s metros, is now finding salience in smaller cities.

“The luxury segment is usually content-agnostic because people take to these comfortable services, be it recliners or food and beverage served to their seats, easily. Audiences in every city are increasingly developing a propensity to spend on finer things," Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, ioint managing director, PVR Ltd told Mint. 

PVR will be taking the luxury segment beyond Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru to cities such as Gurugram, Lucknow, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram in the coming years.

The latest property in Gurugram that should be ready over the next one year, will see two screens in LUXE format, coming with a lounge and a live kitchen, one screen in the 4DX format, which will house motion seats and special effects including wind, fog, lightning, bubbles, water, rain and scents, in both 2D and 3D formats, and another screen in the P[XL] format with extra-large screens, advanced laser projection, and sound.

Apart from M3M, PVR is actively working with developers such as DLF India, Prestige Group and Phoenix Group.

Movie industry experts say audiences locked up at home for more than a year due to the pandemic may need more than regular fare to be wooed back into cinemas. With film lovers getting used to the convenience of watching web shows and films across languages in the comfort of their homes, cinemas and multiplexes need to lure them back through luxury formats - smaller and more plush auditoriums, larger, high-tech screens and customized menus. While the cost is ultimately passed on to the customer, for people who are willing to spend, these formats offer a premium service and an intimate, safe, hygienic environment.

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