The 300-strong crowd cheered and clapped as The IMAX Experience® returned to Johannesburg last Thursday the 2nd July. Ster-Kinekor officially opened the doors of its fifth IMAX theatre in South Africa, and the first for the Johannesburg area, at its cinema complex at Cradlestone Mall, west of the city.
Exuberant 947 radio personality Anele Mdoda, the MC for the evening, welcomed the guests and got proceedings underway. Following speeches by John Sikiotis, Managing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres, and IMAX spokesperson, Giovanni Dolci, VP Theatre Development: EMEA at IMAX Corporation, invited guests were treated to one of the first local screenings of the much-anticipated, sci-fi adventure, Terminator: Genisys in IMAX® 3D.
From the activity on Twitter during the evening (@sterkinekor with #IMAXGAUTENG), it was clear that the audience was both impressed and delighted to be sitting in a brand new IMAX theatre and watching Terminator: Genisys in the world’s most immersive cinematic experience. Arnie is back… in a big way!
The opening of this IMAX theatre follows the success of The IMAX Experience® at four other Ster-Kinekor sites that have opened during the past year and a half. These include Gateway in Durban, The Grove Mall in Pretoria, Cape Gate in Cape Town, and Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth that opened in mid-June, as the country’s leading cinema chain continues to bring ‘Great Moments at their Greatest’ to its audiences.
One of the cinemas at Cradlestone Mall has been transformed to accommodate the impressive floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall IMAX screen and superior acoustical treatment. The design of the auditorium and the seating layout ensures a thrilling IMAX experience at every screening, while the cutting-edge, dual-projection system delivers crystal-clear images. Coupled with its customised theatre design and powerful digital sound system, IMAX creates a unique cinema environment that makes audiences feel as if they are in the film.
Fans of IMAX who are based in Johannesburg will be pleased to know that the next IMAX build will also be on their doorstep. Ster-Kinekor and IMAX have confirmed that the sixth theatre will be installed at the completely revamped Ster-Kinekor site at Eastgate shopping mall, which is scheduled to open towards the end of October this year. This latest deal brings Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX commitment to six theatres in under two years.
Says John Sikiotis, Managing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “We believe this new cinema will prove as popular with local cinema audiences as our other four IMAX theatres have been. We have no doubt that when our new Eastgate cinema complex opens later this year, movie lovers will also flock in their droves to the IMAX theatre there.”
Representing IMAX at the Cradlestone Mall opening was Giovanni Dolci, VP Theatre Development: EMEA at IMAX Corporation, who said: “It is wonderful to be back in South Africa again, and so soon after the successful launches of the other four IMAX theatres. We are impressed with the success of these sites since they started trading, and look forward to this new theatre achieving equally positive results.
“We entered into the initial partnership with Ster-Kinekor at the end of 2013, in the belief that it would not only raise our visibility in South Africa, but also set the stage for mutual growth opportunities in the region. It is encouraging to see that this is bearing fruit, with this theatre here at Cradlestone opening just a few weeks after Baywest, and a few months after Cape Gate.
“It is clear there is a growing appetite for films in the immersive IMAX format here in South Africa, and we look forward to working together with Ster-Kinekor to further entrench the IMAX brand in the local market,” commented Dolci.
On Friday, 03 July, the new IMAX theatre at Cradlestone Mall will enjoy its first public screenings of Terminator: Genisys in IMAX 3D. Follow @sterkinekor using the hashtag, #IMAXGAUTENG.
“The IMAX Experience® takes viewing a film to the next level. With blockbuster titles such as Marvel’s Ant-Man (31 July), Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (07 August) and Everest (18 September) scheduled for IMAX® release in the next few months, we are looking forward to giving our audiences even ‘greater moments’ on the big IMAX screen,” concludes Sikiotis.
For more information about Ster-Kinekor and IMAX, download the Ster-Kinekor app on any smart phone for the latest information and to make bookings. To find out about other exciting offerings and promotions, visit www.sterkinekor.com or follow @sterkinekor on Twitter or on Facebook at Ster-Kinekor Theatres. For queries, contact Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).
All the great benefits and discounts that members of the SK CLUB, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club loyalty programmes enjoy, also apply for films screened in the IMAX theatre.