By RAHUL RAUT
Despite being one of the biggest film industry in the world, Indian film industry suffers from the lack of theatres. According to a survey conducted in 2016, there are only 6000 single screens and 2100 multiplex screens across India for all languages. The screen density in India is the lowest in the world. It’s 10 screens per million people as against 124 in the US and 90 in China, as per the latest Global Innovation Index.
Though India produces a maximum number of films per year, due to the woefully low number of cinema screens there seems a huge fall in ticket sales and prices. Due to the shortage of screens, the industry, especially the Hindi film industry, face great difficulty in simultaneously releasing two big-budget films the same day. Plus, closing of single screens and delay in opening of new theatres is also impacting the industry.
Observing all these issues in theatre division, a report by Indian government’s task force on innovation had recently stated that the state government must take steps towards opening of new screens across the country, especially in the remote areas and smaller cities. The report also said the state governments to incentivise businesses for the conversion of single-screen theatres into multi-screen complexes.
It has been nearly six months since the report released but there doesn’t seem any development in the growth of cinema screens by the Indian government. However, Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn has come forward to support this move. The actor has reportedly started acquiring theatres that have been shut across India. Devgn plans to establish a chain of multiplexes and for that, he is acquiring closed single screen theatres. He plans to transform those theatres into modern multiplexes.
According to a source close to the development, Devgn has already bought six single screen theatres and is on the lookout for regions that have a sizeable audience for Bollywood films but lack multiplexes. “Ajay will be running these theatres as NY Cinemas, the initials of his children, Nysa and Yug Devgn. One of the theatres he has taken over is Om Palace Cinema in UP’s Hapur. He has also acquired five other cinemas in Raebareli, Ghaziabad, Agra, Phul Khiriya and Allahabad, and plans to take over 100 more screens across India in the coming year. His team is already working on the idea,” Ahmedabad Mirror source said.
With this new move, Devgn hopes to attract more footfalls than ever at the movies. We wish that his dream comes true and also hope that more Bollywood actors come forward to support the revival of single screen theatres. We believe it holds huge potential to attract investments and create jobs for skilled and semi-skilled people.