Kantana's community-cinema project zooms in on upcountry folk
KANTANA GROUP has launched Thailand's first community-cinema concept by working with local investors to create a series of small cinemas in the rural areas that will link local cultures across the nation, with plans to later extend it to other Asean countries.
Kantana Cineplex will be of |uniform size, with 50-seat capa-|city. Tickets will be priced at Bt30 |per seat. The low pricing has been made possible by the low cost of building the cinemas - Bt1.2 million - on a plot of land as small as 200 square wah, said Jaruek Kaljaruek, chairman of the board of Kantana Group.
Jaruek said the company is expanding its business to local communities using motion pictures as an attraction to bring local cultures together under the concept of "Community Cinema - One Frame, One Culture".
The group has set up a new company, Asia Cinema Network, to recruit local investors in every district nationwide. To date there are more than 500 cinemas under development.
"The idea behind the concept derives from the fact that film offers a powerful tool to create awareness and inspire action. Thus, film can be used as a medium to link local cultures from different places together," said Jaruek.
Kantana Cineplex plans to have more than 1,000 cinemas nationwide and will start rolling out a large number of them simultaneously at the beginning of 2014.
"We think community cinema can help in spreading economic prosperity and reducing rural/urban inequalities," said Jaruek. "With this project, people in rural areas can access quality entertainment and have a new venue for social gatherings such as weekend markets, small exhibitions, meetings, or just gathering to watch live broadcast events.
"As a long-time player in show business, I think this project will help in expanding the audience base for the Thai film industry, because it will be easier for local people living in the rural districts to make frequent visits to watch a movie in the cinema. And that will help in reducing copyright infringements and therefore help in creating a better image for the country."
By applying the "Kantana Intelligent One Touch" system, Kantana makes sure that anyone can run a high-tech cinema like a professional, said Jaruek. Starting from dimming the lights, showing trailers, showing commercials, turning off the lights and finally screening the movie, everything runs automatically with just one touch.
The signal transmission from |the control centre to all the cine-|mas is done via dedicated satellite links, said Jaruek, adding that all motion pictures will be projected using digital technology with Surround 5.1 and 7.1 sound systems. Kantana Cineplex will use a watermark system to help monitor and prevent any copyright violation if someone tries to film a video within the cinema.
More than 500 Kantana Cineplex sites are ready for construction nationwide. The project is also receiving a good response and cooperation from Asean members Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. The intention of making Thailand a leader in the Asean film industry is becoming a reality for the near future, said Jaruek.