Those in the movie business are aware that there’s a big shortfall of cinema halls in India, and there’s a huge rural population that needs to be tapped.
UFO Moviez-owned Caravan Talkies is targeting that segment by taking cinema theatres to places where people don’t have easy access to cinema theatres.
As dusk sets in at Benipur village near Varanasi district, the village comes alive in anticipation of a Salman Khan starrer. By seven in the evening, close to 600-700 people have gathered to watch movie-on-wheels brought to their village by Caravan Talkies. For villagers, it is an opportunity to see their favourite stars on 12 x 10 feet screens and less stressful than travelling to the nearest theatre 3-4 hours away.
Caravan Talkies take vans with mobile screens and projectors to villages, these vans act as exhibition centres for free film viewing in the evenings in designated rural areas and during the day time the vans are used to display brand advertisements.
The rural audience love the big screen experience and for advertisers its an opportunity to promote brands in media-dark regions through in-cinema advertisement.
For each film show, around 250-1,100 people turn up and every show runs up to 25 minutes of advertisements. The earnings per van is pegged at about ₹10 lakh per year. Brands such in Coca-Cola, ITC, Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Dabur have tied up with Caravan talkies.
South India has a significant penetration of screens, but North and West India lack adequate number of screens. Caravan Talkies will focus more on states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh in the coming months.