The real picture

India’s multiplex industry could finally be waking up to profits and a new lease of life

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When PVR Cinemas signed up with the Prestige Forum mall in Bangalore in 2000 for an 11-screen, 2,000-seat multiplex — the first ever in India — most people in the business agreed that it was a terrible idea. “We got a lot of flak from the industry. Everyone thought it was going to be a disaster. They asked us where we were going to get so much content from,” recounts Pramod Arora, president and CEO, PVR Cinemas. “But we were sure it would work. For one, people spoke nearly four or five languages in Bangalore. Even otherwise, in a country where movies are religion, we were certain if we got the execution right, we couldn’t go wrong.”