Cinema transformed to offer the most immersive cinematic experience
The 250-strong crowd cheered and clapped as The IMAX Experience® returned to Cape Town last night (10 December). Ster-Kinekor opened its third IMAX theatre at its cinema complex at CapeGate Mall in Brackenfell.
Exuberant radio and TV personality Leigh-Anne Williams, the MC for the evening, welcomed the guests and got proceedings underway. Following speeches by Doug Place, Marketing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres, and IMAX’s spokesperson, Giovanni Dolci, VP: Theatre Development EMEA for IMAX Europe, invited guests enjoyed one of the first screenings of the final film in The Hobbit trilogy, in the world’s most immersive cinematic experience.
With both @sterkinekor and #IMAXCT trending on Twitter during the evening, it was clear that the audience was both impressed and delighted to be sitting in an IMAX theatre, to watch _THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES.
This follows the success of The IMAX Experience® at two other Ster-Kinekor sites – Gateway in Durban, which opened in November 2013, and The Grove Mall in Pretoria, trading since June 2014, as the country’s leading cinema chain continues to bring ‘Great Moments at their Greatest’ to its audiences. To provide audiences with maximum immersion, the cinema has been transformed to include a floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall IMAX screen, superior acoustical treatment and IMAX’s projection and sound technology.
IMAX’s cutting-edge two-projection system delivers crystal-clear images and, coupled with its customised theatre design and powerful digital sound system, creates a unique environment that makes audiences feel as if they are in the film.
Fans of IMAX who are based in Johannesburg are next in line to enjoy this immersive cinema experience. Ster-Kinekor and IMAX have confirmed that a fourth theatre will be installed at the new, revamped Ster-Kinekor site at Eastgate shopping mall, in the second half of 2015. This latest deal brings Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX commitment to four theatres in under two years.
Says Fiaz Mahomed, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “Following the successful openings of our first two IMAX theatres at Gateway and The Grove, and their ongoing performance since then, it was always our plan to open an IMAX cinema in Cape Town. CapeGate Mall was selected as the most feasible site to accommodate the complex conversion. We believe this new cinema will prove as popular with local cinema audiences as our other two theatres.”
Representing IMAX at the CapeGate 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 launches of both Gateway and The Grove. We are impressed with the success of the first two sites and look forward to this new theatre achieving equally positive results.
“We entered into the initial partnership with Ster-Kinekor last year with 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 already bearing fruit, with the CapeGate site opening just six months after The Grove. South Africa was one of a number of new markets that we entered in 2013, and it is clear there is a growing appetite for IMAX here. We look forward to working with Ster-Kinekor to further entrench the IMAX brand locally,” Dolci said.
On Thursday, 11 December, the new IMAX theatre at CapeGate will enjoy its first public screenings with pre-release screenings of the final film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. As one of the most anticipated films of 2014, it brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves.