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Inox looks at tier II cities for expansion

Praveen Bose  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

Multiplex scene may be getting crowded in places like Mumbai, but in Bangalore and other cities multiplex operators see a big untapped market waiting to be explored.
Bangalore, which many of the multiplex operators believe, is underscreened has space for another 15 or so multiplexes. Hence, there is lot of action being seen in the state.
Multiplex operators are taking their operations to tier II cities now. Inox, the multiplex operator, which claims to be the first to move into untapped markets, now plans to enter Belgaum and Hubli with multiplexes of 4-screen.
It has two multiplexes in Bangalore and plans to add another one in the city, adding six screens to its capacity in Bangalore. It plans to have a four-screen multiplex in Belgaum and another four screens in Hubli.
In January, it added three more screens in Bangalore with the start of its three-screen multiplex in Jayanagar in Bangalore. With that it now has eight-screens in Bangalore, with five screens in Garuda Mall.
It has signed up developers in Hubli and Belgaum for setting up its multiplexes. The eight screens will be operational by February-March '09. The multiplex operator spends an average of Rs 2.5 crore per screen.
By March 2009, Bangalore will see Inox adding another five screens in Bangalore with the expansion of its facility in Malleswaram in Western Bangalore at a Mantri Developers' property. By July 2010, it is set to have its five screen multiplex up and running in Mangalore.
As of today, it has 26 properties running in the country, with 93 screens. Alok Tandon, COO, Inox Leisure said, "We have always believed in being the first to enter a market."
In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, it plans to set up around 50 screens and has already signed up properties. Inox looks at a payback time of five years.
Inox's expansion plans for Bangalore comes close on the heels of major developments in the city on the multiplex front. Shringar Cinemas recently opened a multiplex at Fame Lido and is planning another one which is set to come up where once stood the Symphony theatre.

First Published: Mon, April 07 2008. 00:00 IST