After the Chanakya cinema hall in south Delhi, it is now the turn of the nearly three-decades-old stand-alone movie theatre Sangam to be razed and rebuilt as an upmarket multiplex.
"February onwards you won't be able to enjoy movies by paying as low as Rs 20, as the demolition of this cinema hall will have begun by then," said Ashok Gupta, the owner of Sangam at RK Puram.
"The multiplex culture has definitely taken the market by storm and compared to them stand-alone cinema halls are not as profitable. Moreover, we want to make the most of our 30,000 sq ft property. Hence we are converting Sangam into a multiplex," Gupta told IANS.
"It will take more than one and a half years to erect the multiplex. It will be ready by the year 2010," he added.
The cinema hall has a seating capacity of 1,056 but the new complex will have two theatres and modern eating outlets.
"We will utilise the 10,000-sq ft area to make two auditoriums of 305 and 125 seating capacity respectively. And 22,000 sq ft area will have no less than four select food and beverage joints where customers would enjoy exclusive Indian, Chinese or Italian cuisine unlike the regular McDonalds or Pizza Hut, which they can find anywhere."
"To attract customers from other localities, the multiplex must offer something unique. I am not interested in retail chain stores because they do not give you sustained clientele in the long run. If we do not get people to open the kind of outlets we desire then we will run them on our own," said Gupta.
Commenting on the initial investment, he said: "The initial investment will be no less than Rs 180 million. We are not in favour of having any financial partner with us, so the complete investment will be ours."
Gupta said the auditoriums would be rented out, for which some renowned multiplex brands have started approaching him but nothing has been finalised yet.
"Celebrated cineplex chains like PVR and Adlabs have approached us. Negotiations are going on, but they are not ready to pay the rent we are asking for."
"Our property is in a prime location and will prove a money spinner for anyone who takes it on lease. I am not very brand-specific and will rent to someone who agrees to pay the amount we decide," Gupta said.
The complex would have no less than four floors and two levels of underground parking. Also, there will be parking space in front of the multiplex for about 100 vehicles.