‘Returns’ of Single-Screen Theatres
In this era, where multiplexes are everywhere, we have somehow forgotten that few years ago the only thing we had were single-screen theatres.
At the age of the multiplexes, it is believed that nowadays single screen theatres are not meant for the families but the“rowdies”. People say that these theatres are not safe for them and for their families because of the crowd coming there. But how much truth lies in this statement?
Today multiplexes have taken over the single screen theatres. They have added an element of comfort during watching the movie. They have made it so good that upmarket society prefer to go to multiplexes because there they can see people like them, the so-called sophisticated lot. From the owner’s angle too multiplexes are very profiting. They get to share 50% of the revenue while single screens only get theatre rent, which is a very small amount and sometimes it cannot even take care of their electricity bills. As per the statistics, the number of single-screen theatres in Maharashtra has come down from 864 to 722 and in Mumbai and Thane from 100 to 81.
Even though nowadays producers are making more products which will suit single screens, but owners are more interested in the government paying attention to their needs and demands. Because they have to give too much of entertainment tax compared to other states and also they do not have shares in the total revenue.
But now the trend is changing.
Film traders says that a film like Zindagi Na Mile Dobara grossed 25% cent of its box office from single screens, Murder 2 grabbed in 40%, and Ready and Bodyguard 45% each. The number of single-screen theatres may have come down in Mumbai and Thane over the years, but there is a quiet change happening. Today one cannot ignore the single screens as they make a major contribution, around 30%-50%, to a film’s box office collection.
In our country where cinema is a craze, this change in watching films is in a way a change in the lifestyle. Today’s cinema lovers have become very smart, they want better air-conditioning and a more Upmarket atmosphere, but at an affordable price. So, several single-screen theatre owners are renovating their theatres to satisfy the crowd which is coming back from the multiplexes. Single screens are matching multiplex standards now. Hence, the cinema-lovers are turning towards the single-screen theatres which are maintaining their position.
Technically also single screen theatres are better than multiplexes. To see the beauty of landscape or to watch long shot scenes one should prefer single screens because it gives better quality due to long projections in the big halls. Compared to multiplexes, single screens have much more capacity and have big screen which gives true sense of watching film on “big screen”.
Single-screen theatres now have a nice mix of the audience. The multiplex audiences are returning to balconies while lovers of single screens continue to grab the stalls. Paradise cinema in Mahim, Edward theatre in Kalbadevi, Chitra, Plaza and Nakshatra cinema in Dadar, Regal in Colaba and Aurora in Matunga are now a cinema hall for family viewing.