State to increase number of film screens to 500

Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13

Haryana is pinning hopes on single-screen theatres to spice up its entertainment sector with an ambitious plan underway to open over 500 cinema screens, including miniplexes, across the state to achieve the ration of one screen for 50,000 persons.

With the grant of industry status to the film industry by the Haryana Government making it eligible for various incentives available to the industry, the state government proposes to significantly reduce current ratio of one screen per 1.5 lakh persons to 50,000.

Official sources said there was tremendous scope for development of miniplexes (70-100 capacity) in the areas beyond the National Capital Region (NCR) and rural areas as these areas currently lacked entertainment facilities.

Sameer Pal Srow, Director, Information, Public Relation and Languages, said the aim of the new Film Policy was to increase the number of screens from current around 171 to over 500 so that a population of 50,000 could have one screen. “The industry status for the film industry would act like icing on the cake since investors would get all incentives available to the industry under the Enterprise Promotion Policy, 2016,” he said.

Besides opening new miniplexes, the revival of the existing single-screen theatres was high on the agenda of the state government. The state government wanted to achieve this “in synergy with departments concerned for ensuring provisions of speedy relevant clearances.”

Currently, a majority of 171 cinema screens are in Gurugram (40) and Faridabad (27) with some of the districts like Nuh and Charkhi Dadri having no screen. The state has 52 multiplexes and 25 single-screen theatres.

“In fact, the state government could hire a private consultant to oversee the processes for setting up and running all miniplexes,” the Film Policy said.

With a liberal subsidy up to Rs2 crore on offer, the content for the miniplexes could include Haryanvi, non-Haryanvi, children and educational films.

New policy

  • The aim is to have one screen for every 50,000 persons against current 1.5 lakh persons
  • At present, there are around 171 screens, most of them in NCR
  • State to hire private consultant to oversee process of setting up and running miniplexes
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