Following the current success of The IMAX Experience® at three Ster-Kinekor locations – Gateway in Durban, The Grove Mall in Pretoria and the recently opened Cape Gate in Cape Town – the country’s leading cinema chain has announced that it will open the two new IMAX theatres towards the middle of June this year.
One of the theatres will be installed within a refurbished cinema at Cradlestone Mall in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg. The second will form part of a brand new Ster-Kinekor complex at Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, currently under construction and scheduled to open its doors in June.
With the installation of the theatres expected to begin shortly at both sites, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth audiences will soon be able to enjoy the world’s most immersive cinematic experience when the new cinemas open.
IMAX’s cutting-edge projection system – which delivers crystal-clear images – coupled with its customised theatre design and powerful digital sound system, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the film.
Says Doug Place, marketing executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “As we continue to bring ‘Great Moments at their Greatest’ to our audiences, Ster-Kinekor is delighted to be opening another two IMAX theatres. While all the stringent IMAX specifications have been met at the new Baywest Mall site, such as IMAX’s proprietary theatre architecture, one of the auditoriums at Cradlestone has also proved to be suitable for the IMAX installation. Both cinemas will be transformed to include an enormous, floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall IMAX screen, superior acoustical treatment and IMAX’s projection and sound technology to provide audiences with maximum immersion.”
Fans of IMAX who are based in the east of Johannesburg are next in line to enjoy this immersive cinema experience. Ster-Kinekor and IMAX confirmed last year that an IMAX theatre would be installed at the revamped Ster-Kinekor site at Eastgate shopping mall, which is expected to open in late September this year. This latest deal brings Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX commitment to six theatres in under two years.
“Following the successful openings of our first three IMAX theatres at Gateway, The Grove and most recently, Cape Gate in December last year, and their on-going performance since then, we have assessed a number of possible sites for our next IMAX theatre. It was always our plan to open an IMAX cinema in the Johannesburg area, and Cradlestone has been selected as the most feasible venue to accommodate the complex conversion of our existing sites. Obviously, we are able to plan upfront to incorporate the IMAX specifications in a new build situation, as is the case with Baywest Mall and Eastgate,” states Place.
“We are delighted at the IMAX success that Ster-Kinekor has achieved in just 15 months after opening its first IMAX location, which underscores the growing demand for IMAX in South Africa,” says Andrew Cripps, president of IMAX EMEA.
“Ster-Kinekor is both a world-class operator and a tremendous IMAX brand ambassador. Together, we look forward to bringing moviegoers in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth the biggest blockbuster films, in the most immersive and unforgettable cinema format in the world,” he adds.
“The IMAX Experience® takes the movie-going experience to the next level. We believe our two new IMAX cinemas will prove to be as popular with local cinema audiences as the other three theatres have been. There are a number of big blockbusters scheduled for IMAX release this year, and we are confident that audiences that have not yet experienced a film in IMAX will be amazed at the quality of the picture and the clarity of the surround sound in this most exciting and immersive theatre environment,” concludes Place.