CHENNAI: As soon as news got out that behemoth multiplex chain PVR Cinemas was looking to acquire the home-grown SPI Cinemas brand, outrage, anger and a wee bit of sentiment flowed forth from movie goers.
Still referred to as Sathyam Cinemas, the original name of the theatre plex that has become a landmark in Royapettah, the group has since expanded rapidly and controls at least 40 screens across Chennai and Coimbatore.
“You’d have to experience a movie at Sathyam to know why I’m ranting so much. PVR is a failure in Chennai, quite obviously due to their pathetic movie experience, and their insipid butter popcorn. Right from their bad website, staff, food quality, lack of RDX or Atmos and their inflated booking charges, PVR has everything wrong and could very well damage the hard-earned Sathyam brand if not destroying it,” said Karthik Murali, a market analyst, on Twitter.
Social media sites were littered with many such outpourings as the day progressed.
Incidentally, PVR controls over 250 screens across the country and has two multiplexes in Chennai alone, with one more potential one coming up on GST Road.
In fact, a petition was floated on change.org asking interested people to sign a petition to save SPI Cinemas from acquisition. It has been just shy of 400 pledges thus far, but it’s something that is expected to gain a lot of momentum quickly.
Meanwhile, the Gurgaon-based PVR Cinemas declared to the BSE after media reports, that there were no such negotiations going on with the Kiran-Reddy-promoted SPI group. “As part of our continuing business strategy to look for growth opportunities, the company is constantly on the lookout for and in discussions with potential partners to further it’s business. But the company is not aware of any negotiations or transactions with SPI Cinemas that require disclosure,” it stated in its reply to the clarifications sought by the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange on Monday.
SPI Cinemas declined to comment on the issue.