January 11, 2009

Adlabs to increase presence in city

KOLKATA,11 January, 2009: Adlabs Films, the film entertainment arm of Reliance ADAG, is keen on increasing its presence in the city. "We want to open two to three screens in Kolkata in addition to the existing Adlabs multiplex in Salt Lake," Anil Arjun, the CEO of the firm, said on Saturday. He was in the city to deliver a lecture at IIM-Calcutta's international business school meet.
However, when contacted, a company spokesperson was more forthcoming and elaborated that Adlabs was exploring multiple avenues for its expansion plans. "We could open a multiplex, have single-screen standalone theatres or refurbish existing establishments. All these options are being looked into and we are in talks with a number of people," she told TOI.
Though the company has no specific time frame in mind, it would like to begin operations here as soon as possible, she added. In the last few years, the entertainment major had renovated and modernised numerous theatres nationwide. This could be an opportunity for Kolkata to have many of its dilapidated cinemas restored. Adlabs is also mulling entering other cities in the state with an approach not unlike the one for Kolkata. "The tier II cities in West Bengal are definitely part of our plan and we could have a combination of screens there, including standalone and refurbished theatres. This strategy has worked well for us in other parts of the country," the spokeswoman said, without disclosing names and numbers for the expansion blueprint. Big Pictures, another Reliance ADAG company, too, has planned to increase its projects in the state.
The production house, which is already producing Rituparno Ghosh's Shob Charitro Kalponik and Abahoman and Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Janala, could take more directors from the Bengali film industry on board. "We definitely want to make more Bengali films for which we are talking to Sandip Ray. But we don't want to pile up our projects and create an inventory," said Mahesh Ramanathan, the company's COO.

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