Durban’s Gateway complex to house new IMAX theatre offering moviegoers the world’s most immersive cinematic experience, other sites to follow.
Ster-Kinekor, Southern Africa’s leading cinema chain, has completed an agreement with IMAX Corporation, to install an IMAX(R) theatre at its flagship cinema complex, Ster-Kinekor Gateway, in the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Durban, by November this year.
The IMAX Experience(R) incorporates ground-breaking, crystal-clear digital projection, cutting-edge sound technology and a larger curved screen spanning from floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall, providing moviegoers with the world’s most immersive cinematic experience.
Says Fiaz Mahomed, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “Our promise to our audiences is to continue bringing them great cinema moments at their greatest. It is difficult to envisage a greater moment than watching a blockbuster movie on a massive screen within the world’s most immersive cinema experience. That is what we as Ster-Kinekor and The IMAX Experience(R) will give you.
“Internationally, IMAX(R) theatres are currently enjoying renewed success and popularity, and we are confident that our local movie-goers will welcome and support this exciting new development. We will consistently screen Hollywood’s biggest full-length feature films, which is a marked departure from what was previously offered at an IMAX(R) cinema in South Africa. We are also exploring showing even more than the latest Hollywood films, such as breathtaking IMAX(R) documentaries and music-based features, when these opportunities present themselves,” comments Mahomed.
“Today’s agreement – with South Africa’s number-one exhibitor at the country’s number-one cinema complex – represents the ideal scenario under which to mark IMAX(R)’s first commercial multiplex entry into the country,” says Andrew Cripps, President, IMAX(R) EMEA. “We are delighted to welcome Ster-Kinekor to the IMAX(R) business and believe our partnership will not only raise our visibility in South Africa, but also set the stage for mutual growth opportunities in the region.”
Whilst the initial conversion to an IMAX theatre will be installed at Gateway – the most successful cinema complex in the country – Ster-Kinekor is already considering some of its other sites that could accommodate the larger, floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall screen and complex infrastructure that this giant movie format requires. As with the current roll-out to convert all cinemas to digital projection, Mahomed states that bringing IMAX(R) into the country reinforces Ster-Kinekor’s position as market leader.
“We are able to provide the South African movie-going public with the best film titles currently on offer on a global scale, when they are released internationally, and in the most technologically-advanced cinema environment. Our role is to convince the consumer to watch a movie as it was meant to be seen – on the big screen. The IMAX Experience(R) will take this viewing proposition to the next level,” states Mahomed.
Construction on the IMAX(R) theatre at Gateway in Durban will commence during September 2013. The expected completion date is the first week of November this year, in time for the much-anticipated international release of Marvel’s latest superhero story, Thor: The Dark World.
Thereafter, the second film to be screened will be the immensely popular Hunger Games trilogy: Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The eagerly awaited title, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will round-up the IMAX(R) releases for this calendar year.
“With more than 25 full-length feature films expected to enjoy an IMAX(R) release during 2014, we are looking forward to what is going to be a very big year for Ster-Kinekor with IMAX(R)’s immersive format,” concludes Mahomed.