“It could be a big market if planned properly."
The concept of drive-in theatres could be welcomed back in India allowing audiences to enjoy a cinematic experience under the open sky.
Reportedly, PVR Cinemas is preparing to set up its first drive-in cinema in Mumbai while Carnival Cinemas has “identified three locations in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kochi.”
Allegedly, Carnival Cinemas will be executing their plans “in the next two months”.
Not only that, but a realty company is also looking to set up drive-in theatres in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Punjab.
Speaking about the initiative, trade analyst, Taran Adarsh said:
“It could be a big market if planned properly. They could also be the ‘big-screen experience’ in a totally new way.
“Also, after multiplexes, we haven’t had a new addition in the space of movie consumption, so this could shake things up.”
Exhibitor-distributor, Akshaye Rathi explained the importance of considering the financial element of the drive-in cinemas. He said:
“For audiences, it can be a totally new, unique experience.
“But the most critical part is that it has to be planned and executed in a manner wherein it’s financially feasible – in terms of earmarking properties, ticket prices and number of shows etc. – in every way possible.
“However, in India, where we are under-screened, drive-in theatres could also be a great, novel way to add screens.
“Especially, in tier-2 and tier-3 towns, where the land prices are reasonable/affordable, it can provide people [with] new ways of entertainment.”
Manoj Desai, executive director of the G7 multiplex and Maratha Mandir, highlighted the safety concerns. He explained:
“Safety is also a huge concern. Back in the day, at Bandra’s drive-in theatre, patrons’ safety became a problem due to incidents of looting and attacks on vehicles. Such things have to be taken care of on priority.”
Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani, who has enjoyed the drive-in cinema experience as a child said:
“For me, more than watching a film, drive-in theatres would be all about enjoying that special experience.”
He further added:
“Now, with high-end technology such as Bluetooth, great sound systems, LED screens etc., let’s see how things go.”
“I’m sure besides the younger generation who haven’t experienced it yet, there are going to be many like me who would want to have that experience all over again.”
Adarsh added: “This concept may sound appealing to people considering the times [Covid-19 pandemic] that we are living in.”
According to experts, the investment into drive-in cinemas could potentially be between Rs 3-5 crore (£307,525.50 – 512,542.50). This depends on the size, capacity and facilities available at the selected locations.
With this new initiative in place, we could see the rise of drive-in cinemas come back into popularity.