SPI Cinemas is hoping to convert one of the 11 screens into IMAX format

SPI Cinemas has received government clearance to launch its multiplex, Luxe, at Phoenix Mall in Velachery, where it has 11 screens.

Though the cinema has received clearance at this moment only for regular screens, SPI Cinemas is also hoping to get clearance to convert one of the screens into IMAX format. The group is currently hiring staff for the multiplex and the launch date is expected to be announced shortly.

The news will excite the city’s film-lovers who have for long lamented the lack of an IMAX screen, even while their counterparts in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai have been able to catch blockbusters like ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Gravity’ in IMAX format.

A ticket for the IMAX screens is priced substantially higher as there is a heavy investment in technology to screen the films in the format. From the projectors to the screen, the IMAX set-up varies from the regular fare. But since the government has fixed the maximum price on tickets, a government order is required to set up the IMAX screen with a higher ticket fare. In Mumbai, a ticket at the IMAX theatre costs up to Rs. 600.

Apart from the interest in the IMAX screen, the addition of 11 screens at Phoenix Mall in itself is a heartening development, especially for south Chennai residents, who have otherwise had to travel long distances to watch movies.

SPI Cinemas is awaiting the clearance of another multiplex, Palazzo, at Forum Vijaya Mall in Vadapalani, and PVR Cinemas is awaiting official clearance for its multiplex at Grand Mall in Velachery. According to sources, now that SPI Cinemas has obtained the clearance for Phoenix Mall, the other multiplexes are also hopeful of getting their approvals.