Ahead of Rajinikanth’s film release, Tamil Nadu theatres struggle with upgrading to 3D, 4DSRL technology

At the trailer launch of superstar Rajinikanth-starrer 2.0 earlier this month, director Shankar urged theatre owners across Tamil Nadu to upgrade their screens from 2D to 3D. 2.0 is the first Indian film to be entirely shot in 3D format, and it is gearing up for a release in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi on 29 November. If the industry grapevine is anything to go by, the highly anticipated 2.0, rumoured to be made on a budget of Rs 600 crore, will be released in Tamil Nadu in around 400 screens in 3D format, and in 2D version in the rest.

While most theatre owners have embraced the idea of upgrading their screens to support 3D content and are eagerly looking forward to the release of 2.0, others feel it is not worth the effort for a single film. “If we make an exception and upgrade to 3D screen for 2.0, we’d be looking at making an investment of close to Rs 10 lakh. How are we going to recover that cost when we don’t have enough 3D content,” asked a Chennai-based theatre owner.

He also said that 3D screens are high on maintenance. “3D screens call for a lot of maintenance. They have to be dust-free and that’s also one of the reasons why most theatres fear upgrading,” he added.

Most multiplexes across Chennai, Coimbatore and other areas such as Madurai already have 3D screens. “Most theatres in these areas have D-Cinema projectors and they can support 3D content. In Salem, 40 screens out of 160 are 3D-enabled. We can expect another 20 to 30 screens to be ready to screen 2.0 in 3D. Overall, we can expect around 350 to 400 screens to screen 2.0 in 3D. This is a healthy start and with more 3D content, this number could increase,” a leading distributor, on the condition of anonymity, told Firstpost. The distributor also said theatres that believe upgrading to 3D screen is not cost-effective can get the equipment for temporary hire.