Priya Entertainments, one of the pioneers of the entertainment industry of Eastern India, is all set to reinvent itself by setting up brand ‘Bioscope’, a chain of multiplex across Bengal and in Thimpu, Bhutan.
The showpiece among these is one at Axis mall, Rajarhat, where Priya Entertainments will build a themeplex with Egyptian cave and underwater effect.
Moreover, the company is foraying into the multiplex business with 12 screens in West Bengal and Bhutan. So far, it owned and managed mainly standalone cinema halls and cultural centres.
The Axis mall in Rajarhat will have six screens of which four will be operational in the first phase as ‘themeplexes’. Each auditorium will sport a different theme.
Arijit Dutta, managing director, Priya Entertainments, said, "We are foraying into the multiplex business and are looking at setting up around 12 screens in the first phase in Kolkata, Durgapur and Bhutan. We will be investing around Rs 40-50 lakh per screen."
"The strategy is simply to ensure that there are more than one revenue earning channels. So, while a themeplex would mean that people come in to watch movies, we are also adding other elements in order to ensure multiple revenue generation sources," informed Arijit Dutta, owner of Priya Entertainments.
For one, the multiplexes would have an extended stage in front of the screen where various cultural activities can take place. This would mean an additional income source in addition to revenues generated through ticket sales at the multiplex. Tickets at the Axis mall in Rajarhat would be priced between Rs 50 and Rs 80. Again, the themeplexes in Durgapur is expected to have a discotheque and a pub, in order to bring in additional revenues for the company.
Moreover, to create exclusivity, each multiplex will build on a theme. So, for instance, the screens in Axis mall will have either Egypt as theme, or ocean, or a wild cave theme, among others.
Apart from exhibition business, Priya Entertainments has already distributed over 500 films, and plans to touch the 1,000 mark in the next five-seven years.
Priya Entertainments is also planning to re-enter into film production.
The company is already in talks with other production houses, both national and international, for joint ventures. It is also looking at bi-lingual projects for international viewership.
Another ambitious plan for Priya Entertainments is to get into eco-tourism. "West Bengal provides tremendous scope for eco-tourism with its rich and varied natural landscape. We have the snow, the rolling meadows, the riverine areas and the dry patches. I see no reason why for shooting films we need to go outside Bengal if we can develop these locations properly," added Dutta.
Currently, Priya Entertainments owns Priya cinema hall in south Kolkata and Annapurna Multiplex in Sonarpur.
It also manages cultural complexes like ‘The Star Theatre’ in north Kolkata, Gitanjali Cultural Complex in Bolpur, Santiniketan, Krishti Cultural Complex in Memari, Burdwan, Vidyasagar Memorial Hall in Guskara, Burdwan and Satyajit Mancha in Balurghat in South Dinajpur.