In recent years, PVR has emerged as India’s largest multiplex retail chain in the country founded by Ajay Bijli more than two decades back. PVR cinemas is a film entertainment company in India. The company started as a joint venture between Priya Exhibitors Private Limited and Village Roadshow Private Limited in 1995. Bijli wanted people to feel the same thrill, adventure and excitement each time they watch the movie in PVR as if they were going to the theatre for the first time.
Around 99 million people have visited PVR so far, this is a big achievement in its own. In old times, people were not as crazy as they are today, we can see around us how everyone is crazy about watching Netflix, prime videos, YouTube videos and so on. This online business is growing day by day. But watching movies in PVR hall gives a different type of satisfaction. Consumer’s movie habits haven’t and will not change at all because everyone wants entertainment in this age of digital entertainment platforms.
If the quality is great, people are more excited and feel amazed while watching the movie. PVR cinema has also launched an online platform – vkaao.com. This will allow people to choose the films that play in local PVR cinemas. People can book the screen, if the hall is full and a person wants to see that particular movie, that movie can be screened on this site.
We can notice when there was a lockdown in the whole country, people got into a new habit of watching web series, Netflix, prime videos the whole day. This found-out habit of the Indian consumer is phenomenal, says Ajay Bijli. He has invested in technologies such as IMAX, 4DX, D-Box and Playhouse and formats such as Luxe. Luxury cinemas are coming as the newest trend.
Before the competition could come up with its luxury offering, Bijli already had made a good name in luxury cinemas. He opened the first one in 2004 in Bengaluru, which was the first Gold Class but soon they had 40 gold classes all over the country.
Meanwhile after the arrival of Covid-19 Pandemic, many things have changed in terms of cinema viewing experience, from ticketing to watching movies to buying food in the theatre, everything has changed during around ten months of lockdown.
The ticket counter referred to as ‘Box Office’ has become completely digital in order to not deal with the people face to face. Wearing masks is compulsory and sanitisers have been deployed by the PVR team for the audience so that they could not come in contact with coronavirus. Keeping in view the social distancing norms and measures, the seating capacity has also been reduced to half.
Bijli’s business is growing because he tried to make every unit count, it has to be a viable unit. He tried to provide the best preparation, quality, safety (after this Covid-19 Pandemic), food to his customers and these things attract more customers to visit PVR cinemas. You get a different feeling in PVR cinemas because of its quality as I said nobody can steal the soul of PVR.
The most important thing while watching a long movie i.e. 3 hours, people insist on having a popcorn break. He tried to combine movies and eating into one which is one of the attractive things and every person enjoys it.
“Watching a movie is a suspension of disbelief.” The moment people buy the ticket and enter the porch that’s when the entertainment starts.
Gautam Dutta, CEO of PVR says, ” You can copy PVR by getting the same carpet and the seating. You can duplicate the skin but you cannot duplicate a soul.” And that’s true, one can imitate everything but the quality, nobody can swap it.
But today, Film exhibitors are facing competition not just from within the industry but also from video streaming platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon prime and so on.