Lead Story

Lights, camera, digital

High capital costs notwithstanding, single-screen theatres are embracing digital technology

Tushar Mane

Surat’s Valecha Road is called the subzi mandi of theatres by folks in the film industry. The 3 km-long stretch has 17 licensed ‘video parlours’ with up to 125 seats each, which play movies from CDs. Atul Patel, a film distributor to 60 screens across Gujarat, owns 10 such parlours; he also has a two-screen multiplex coming up in at Kangori in Poladpur, Maharashtra. Patel owned only two video parlours when he first invested in digital equipment in 2007. “It [this growth] wouldn’t have been possible but for digitisation,” agrees the owner of the ‘Modern Movie’ video parlours, whose digitisation service provider is the Chennai-based Real Image Media Technologies. “Screening films first day-first show has done the magic.”