The Gold Rush

The occupancy at the club class theatre at R Deccan

With multiplexes in Ludhiana and Malegaon sprucing up to include the VIP seats, Gold is the new cool

Mumbai-based Manish Purohit wanted to celebrate his first job as a bar consultant with his family. But he wanted to do more than take them out for a dinner or give them gifts. Being a family of foodies and movie buffs, he booked seats instead in BIG Cinemas' Cine-Diner at Ghatkopar. There, they watched Guzaarish over a three-course meal, all under Rs 5,000. "Though we watch almost every big film at the cinemas, my family had never enjoyed this kind of an experience. A mini-theatre, comfortable seating, an intimate setting and a specially-designed menu was the best way to celebrate my new job," he says.

Purohit represents that section of audience that constantly wants to enhance its movie-viewing experience. With the burgeoning multiplex culture, cinema halls across the country want to make their viewers feel privileged. Though BIG's Cine-Diner is a one-of-a-kind facility, most multiplex chains today either have separate VIP lounges with recliners and blankets, special menus and customised service or a few designated rows that offer similar facilities.

According to the data with multiplex chains, regular takers for such facilities are mostly high income individuals. "Given people's passion for movies, even businessmen, families of politicians and some VIPs like to watch films on the big screen," says Delhi-based Jayendra Banerji, Senior V-P of Operations, Satyam Cinemas. This has the Skybox section priced at up to Rs 600 per seat and usually gets up to 60 per cent lounge occupancy. Arvind Chaphalkar, Partner, City Pride Multiplex, Pune, agrees with Banerji adding that the occupancy is highest during the weekends.

Personalised movie-viewing experiences, aren't new to our film-crazy country where the the dress circle in former movie halls offered similar privileges until the 1990s. The recent trend towards a luxury viewing experience follows similar instincts.

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