The Indian picture of cinema is totally intact when we talk about the digital cinema. Bollywood is still producing around 700 films every year and people are going to the theatres in numbers. The digital revolution has hit the country but the traditional cinema is far more important to the Indian audience than an 8 hours character-driven series. The Indian audience wants to get away from the real-life and just watch something entertaining rather than watch a character living the problems they live through every day.
The masala driven Bollywood films will remain the core of the Indian cinema for generations but the new age cinema is not far away. The digital revolution will create a space for itself and the theatre-going audience will go and watch the movies in theatres because the experience you get while watching a movie and sharing an emotion with 100s of other people is different. That being said, Picture Time Digiplex is a startup which is taking its theatres to places. It is basically a theatre on wheels with Dolby Surround 5.1 and charges you only INR 30-50 per person.
This is just an old tradition coming back with better technology. In India, some three to four decades ago, there was theatre on wheels with the sky being their roof and a single loudspeaker their Dolby with a white cloth as the screen. In villages, there were no theatres and there was hardly any electricity. In those times a movie on a large screen was like a festival. It was something to cherish for as it would happen once in months together.
Picture Time Digiplex is doing that right now with better technology and is on a mission. A theatre on wheel seems quite a big set up can be erected within two to three hours. The 37 units of Picture Time Digiplex travel across the length and breadth of the country, charge around INR 30-50 every person.
This startup has traveled to around 14 states. The company has done around 50,000 kilometers and has registered around 1.8 million footfalls. The revenue last year was around INR 7 Cr which is around INR 5.5 lakh per month. Sighting all these numbers the company has received funding and is bulked up quite nicely.
It has received around INR 25 Cr from Zenrock Comtrade which is a fund owned by Ajay Relan. The INR 15 Cr is in equity and while the remaining INR 10 Cr will be used as equity. “We have raised Rs 25 crore, out of which Rs 15 crore is in equity while the remaining Rs 10 crore will be used as working capital. This time, we have seen a 40% increase in our valuation. We’ve raised Rs 50 crore in the two years and we will be looking at Rs 100 crore series A round by the year-end. We are in talks with institutional investors,” said Sushil Chaudhary, chairman of Picture Time Digiplex.