Ster-Kinekor, the largest theatre chain in the country, has announced that almost one million people have returned to the movies following changes in lockdown rules which allowed cinemas to re-open.
“In March 2020 cinemas across the world closed their doors in line with COVID-19 lockdown regulations. Ster-Kinekor theatres ushered out their last guests on the 27th of March, and this was the status quo until the 28th of August 2020 when Christopher Nolan’s Tenet fired up the projector bulbs and blasted through the cinemas’ surround sound,” a press release sent to us reads.
Both Ster-Kinekor and competitor Nu Metro opened again last August with Tenet as the headliner and safety protocols in place to make the experience as safe as possible. The live action Mulan remake was also there but we think most people have forgotten about that movie.
For those who haven’t cared about the movies available so far Ster-Kinekor has also shared a preliminary list of movies which will form its slate going into the remainder of 2021. In alphabetical order:
- A Quiet Place 2
- Black Widow
- Fast & Furious 9
- Free Guy
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife
- Jungle Cruise
- Mission Impossible 7
- No Time to Die
- Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Venom: Let There Be Carnage
- Wrath of Man
While some of the movies above have release dates available the nature of the ongoing pandemic internationally and South Africa’s shoddy vaccine rollout locally means that things may move around before we get to see them.
On top of expected releases like this the cinema chains have been branching out into other avenues to try and get people to come back. At the end of 2020 there was a limited IMAX re-release of Akira, and right now Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train is still available for bookings after a singular weekend release.
While this all sounds positive Ster-Kinekor is currently in business rescue. While anyone can still see movies while this is happening, and the announcement of the above slate looks good for the remainder of 2021, it’s still a dire situation. We truly hope that Ster-Kinekor and South Africa’s cinema industry is around once everyone is vaccinated.