IT IS being billed as the next level in multiplexing -- luxury lounges in cineplexes being repositioned as party hubs for the crème de la crème.
"Entertaining in luxurious environments is an evolving mantra for any service industry," says Ajay Bijli, chief executive and MD, PVR Cinemas. PVR's 36-seat Gold Class auditorium in Noida offers facilities for private parties. "It can be clubbed with a movie on demand," says Bijli. The costs: Rs 500 a head or more, depending on what is on menu.
Bijli sticks to the 'no booze served' policy "since cinema is a family experience", but others are scrambling for a liquor licence. Adlabs, in fact, already has it. At Adlabs Ebony Lounge, you can have your cake and swig a few pegs too while watching your chosen movie for Rs 500 (per head) or more. The chain also offers beer and popcorn shows for corporate houses. A third innovation, Baby Bliss, offers babysitting option while parents enjoy a film.
It is this 'evolvement' that the Inox chain, which operates in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Vadodara, has in mind with the creation of deluxe multiplexes for premium clients with Rs 250 tickets. "Everyone seems to be in a mood to party at the movies," says Saurabh Verma, vice president (programming and distribution), Inox.
Other players are also jumping in. Gurgaon-based DT Cinemas plans to set up luxury lounges in upcoming south Delhi properties like Vasant Kunj and Saket. "It is an alternative to routine club partying," says Kajal Aijaz, CEO and director, DT Cinemas.