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How to Start a Movie Theatre in India | Rules – Regulations & Business


How to Start a Movie Theatre in India | Rules – Regulations & Business

While the love for cinema blossoms in the heart of every Indian, it is important to cater the audience with adequate extents of movie theatres both at urban and rural level. For cinemaphile, owning a movie theatre is great option as business venture. Though it doesn’t seem as easy as it sounds; but follow the checklist below and one can definitely make their passion as their career.

Filmmakers Fans Explaining below very clearly about the step by step process for starting a Movie Hall In India

Content Insights

  1.  Process for starting a Movie Hall in India 
  2. Rules and Regulations to start a Movie Hall in India 
  3. Business Scope of Movie Theatre in India 
  4. Investment Required for Movie Theatre opening in India 
  5. Franchise opportunities Film Theatre opening 
  6. Business Plan – Movie Hall in India 
  • Research is the stepping stone – In order to start any business venture, it is important to do thorough research, understand and plan keeping the lifestyle of the local people in the mind. The local people are the potential audience that are prominent determinants of one’s success. Also current market scenario plays a significant role because it influences ones’ returns. As a theatre owner one needs to understand their rivals in this venture observe their strengths and note their flaws. One need to make sure that their planning resolves those flaws; proving their strong point in this venture.


  • Decide the Nature – Whether the movie theatre is a miniplex or multiplex should be next point of concern. Miniplex generally refers to that cinema hall which can proceed with a one screening at a time. However, multiplex can have more than one screening at a time. The nature of a theatre will affects the budget, license etc. The key advantage of setting up a Miniplex is that it involves less investment in contrasts to multiplexes. Miniplexes are easy to maintain because it attracts less per day people which enhances its capacity to sustain. Multiplexes like PVR, Inox etc are reluctant to invest in small towns or rural areas because audience is not ready to spend Rs.100/per person or more for a movie whereas Miniplexes are a cheaper alternative that these people opt. One has to also focus on the genre of the film – whether multiplex or miniplex if the theatre doesn’t cater the audience taste, it is a deal in loss. Understand what the potential audience prefers – Old Classic, Bollywood, art films etc.
  • Finalize the location – Before moving ahead with other details, it is mandatory to start looking and finalizing the location and land where this venture will work. It is important to finalize the land according to the nature of the theatre because the land requirements differ under your estimate-budget. The location also influences audience the theatre attracts per show. If the potential audience is small, miniplex is a safest and better investment, however if it is mall, then multiplex is right option to choose for.
  • Independent or Franchise – By the time one decides the location, a clear idea should exists within their minds whether they fly independently or with a crew i.e whether one wants work under some Franchise or become independent  owner of this passion turned  If one wants to move ahead as an independent possessor of their venture and is a beginner, they can go for buying a pro membership at the Internet Movie Database. This database will be a guide in this field. It will introduce you to the distributors and other details. If you are interested in a particular film, contact that particular distributor, talk about fees and copyright details and set the deal. Be negotiable and you will be crack a reasonable deal. If the theatre is able to achieve a good record of ticket sales, it will beneficial for the goodwill of the venture. Remembers don’t mess with the numbers, if needed keep a separate employee to maintain these records. As a part of a franchise one will have a smooth sail; theatre owners tied with some franchise have hassle free access to movie distributors. Franchise is safest option for beginners because one has to work under some guidelines with DO’s and DON’Ts. However safest option is not as cheap as independent venture is. Expected Investment for Franchise (Miniplex) is approximately 1Cr. – 2 Cr. The Investments Includes Franchise Fee, Equipment, Fittings and Fixtures and Promotion / Marketing. One also requires invest in the Capital of about 1 Cr. The Franchise will be involved in the training and all the software/ hardware related matters. The Franchise is available in all Regions of the country.  In order to be a part of Franchise the theatre needs to meet minimum area requirement of 3500 sqft.  Franchise is a renewable contract, so after a period of time one can become an independent owner again.  While a miniplex is quite expensive in a franchise, one can approximately estimate that the multiplex could be thrice of the expense in the miniplex. However in the independent venture, one has the freedom to choose their budget and work accordingly, but roughly it will be around 3-4 Cr.

Related Read: Expensive Movie Theatres in India 

  • Attraction is a must – What catches the sight of the customers in any venture is the attractiveness that catches the eyes and is tempting to their minds. In this venture the architecture is dependent on the factor whether it is a Franchise or Independent. If it is a Franchise, Relax! The owner has to spend only money – from branding to advertising everything will be handled by the parent company. The parent company becomes key decision maker of seating arrangements, air-conditioning, screen patterns projection, sound, booking window and most importantly distributor linkup. But if it independent venture, start working because all this is up to you, the catchy look to luxurious facilities is something the potential audience looks for besides the movie. Apart from that if you are planning luxurious theatre you can add a cafeteria for people to munch something.

Legal Formalities To Start a Movie Theatre in India

  • You need the Stamp – Once you decide all the above factors, start building contacts and getting the copyrights and licences. Paperwork also includes mandatory licenses and permission from the local and state authority. For the Permanent Cinemas every application either for grant or renewal of license shall be in writing and to be submitted by the applicant to the Licensing Authority i.e Deputy Commissioner. The writing should be accompanied by –
  1. Full particulars with ownership details and cinematograph apparatus to be used.
  2. Original copy of NOC (No Objection Certificate) under sub- R(2) of R.4;
  3. Certificate from the Executive Engineer, PWD of the area that the rules relating to the structural features of the building are duly followed.
  4. Certificate from the Electricity Department of the Government that Electrical Installations conform to the required standard and under rules.
  5. Certificate from District officer or Public Health Department regarding sanitation and hygiene.
  6. A Certificate from “Approved Films Exhibition Certificate” from the Officer – in-charge of Film Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of India for the regular supply of films during licensed period.
  7. A receipt of payment of license fee.
  8. A clearance certificate from the Superintendent of Taxes of the area concerned.

Apart from that, the licenses, one has to focus on the matters of copyrights also. Call the copyright licensing company in order to ask the copyright of the movies of one’s choice and public demand in advance. One can purchase the movie as well as the license to show the movie for a one-year period. Make sure to keep a copy of paperwork from the copyright licensing in the records as a substantiate proof in case of emergencies.

  • Once all this is done, the venture is ready to hit the market.

Article Advisor : Braslm Media Entertainment 

Tag: How to Start a Movie Theatre in India, Step By Step Process To  Start a Movie Theatre in India, Film Release in Theatres

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