Khaali Peeli – Big success story for the big screen

A day after the makers launched a drive-in premiere of Khaali Peeli at the Backyard Sports Club in Gurugram on October 2, trade analyst Akshaye Rathi tweeted, “Khaali Peeli sold out at Gurgaon’s drive-in cinema… People are happy to step out for recreation as long as safety protocols are in place. Pent-up demand for the big screen experience exists”.

With the seven-month theatre shutdown having left a void in the entertainment market, the makers’ experiment of drive-in theatres has received an overwhelming response.

With the seven-month theatre shutdown having left a void in the entertainment market, the makers' experiment of drive-in theatres has received an overwhelming response.

Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday starrer simultaneously dropped on ZeePlex. “With the shows being sold out, there are definite plans to explore the drive-in format, be it for a preview movie screening, or music concerts and stand-up comedy acts. We will screen Bollywood and regional blockbusters in other cities, in adherence with the new guidelines set by the central government, and the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA),” says Swaroop Banerjee, COO and business head, Zee Live. The team is currently zeroing in on the prospective cities.


Banerjee notes that the model is prevalent around the globe — be it Route 66 Drive-In Theatre in the US or the Lavazza Drive-In International Film Festival in Ontario, Canada.

Banerjee notes that the model is prevalent around the globe — be it Route 66 Drive-In Theatre in the US or the Lavazza Drive-In International Film Festival in Ontario, Canada.

“So, when people were missing the conventional movie-viewing experience, we introduced a hybrid model that could best address this need.” However, with the Centre having greenlit the reopening of cinemas, the important question is whether drive-in theatres will find takers. Banerjee believes producers will consider this model over and above theatrical release for future films. “It’s not just about watching a movie, but an experience that film lovers can enjoy with their dear ones,” he says.



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Naved Qureshi

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