Will Drive-In Cinemas Be Back In India Post Lockdown? PictureTime's Sushil Chaudhary Reveals

    PictureTime's Sushil Chaudhary reveals the company's plans to take cinema to the audience in the post lockdown period where audiences will still be scared to be back to theatres due to COVID-19.


    Post the lockdown induced by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), there are growing concerns in the film industry on how to ensure that the audiences return to cinema houses without compromising on health security. There is, however, one man who seems to have it all worked out. Sushil Chaudhary, Founder Chairman, PictureTime DigiPlex Private Limited, promises to bring cinemas closer to your home and make sure that the business of cinema and cinema-viewing progresses smoothly. FilmiBeat spoke to him about his plans. Excerpts from the interview.

    Sushil Chaudhary, Founder Chairman, PictureTime DigiPlex Private Limited

    Sushil Chaudhary, who introduced mobile cinema halls in India around four years ago, plans to take them to green zones of the country as soon as he gets the clearance. "We have identified about 307 green zones that have no COVID-19 restrictions, and will soon be working with people to get movies to screen in our mobile cinemas."

    He says that his company's main objective is to take cinema to dark areas of India through PictureTime Digiplex without compromising on the cinematic experience.

    The exhibitor is already in talks to release the Satish Kaushik film Kaagaz, starring Pankaj Tripathi and produced by Salman Khan Films and Dharma Productions. Informs Chaudhary, "We may get to release the film once everything opens up." He further adds that the film and exhibition industry is worried that the over-the-top (OTT) platforms are waiting to lap up big films, which will impact the theatres.

    "We know that the theatres are also struggling to survive. I am not saying that there is an opportunity for us, but a product like ours is sure to revive the cinematic experience for people. What's more, you don't have to go to the cinema, it will come to you," he explains.

    Drive-In Cinemas

    PictureTime Drive-In Cinemas Model

    Chaudhary feels the trend of drive-in cinemas will grow in a big way. He informs, "There used to be an open-air theatre on Marina Beach and one or two in Mumbai like the drive-in." As a tech person, Chaudhary has developed a technology that will make the cinema experience an amazing one in the open air. He says, "All you need to do is take is your Bluetooth, connect and enjoy cinema in the open air." ALSO READ: Exclusive: Will Sooryavanshi and '83 Release? Shibasish Sarkar of Reliance Entertainment Reveals!

    Talking about the government's response to his plans to take mobile cinema to the people, he says, "The government is pragmatic and wants life to come back to normal, but they are also being cautious. The film industry and the film chambers of commerce are also proactively working towards it."

    Chaudhary feels that his chain of cinemas will balance out the uneven distribution of cinema halls in the country. He also hints that the government is working towards giving an incentive to cinema chains, but there is no clarity on whether it will be reducing land lease or rolling out incentive packages. He maintains that his model of cinema houses will only add value to cinema viewing and get more audiences back to the theatres. Let's wait and watch what happens post Lockdown 4.0.

    ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Bollywood Screenwriters On How Storytelling Will Change Post COVID-19!ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Bollywood Screenwriters On How Storytelling Will Change Post COVID-19!

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