It’s interesting when companies experiment with different flavours of their normal offerings. A few years ago Ster-Kinekor separated their cinemas into two different types: Junction and Classic. These were aimed at different markets, and offered different price points for movies. Ster-Kinekor’s latest experiment is Cine Prestige, which offers something new to the South African movie market.
Cine Prestige is billed as a premium movie-going experience. You’re treated to food platters, reclining seats, and less people in the cinema. It’s an interesting concept and one I had the pleasure of experiencing on Thursday evening.
Cine Prestige has already launched in several South African cities, and has finally hit Cape Town. These new theatres are debuting in Cavendish Square. There are a few pros and cons to this new offering, but let me stress something first. Ster-Kinekor has – as previously stated – billed Prestige as a premium movie going experience. In my honest opinion visits to this fancy cinema will not be a regular occurrence for the average person, but rather a treat like date night, a special occasion, or a fantastic movie they’ve been waiting for. It has been sold out in Sandton since its opening.
Let’s get to it.
Firstly, tickets for 2D and 3D movies will be R110 each. Of course the usual discounts and reward programs do apply to bring down the pricing.
Besides the normal popcorn, Coke, and sweets, Prestige offers its patrons different food platters and confectionary. The items on offer range from vegetarian platters to chocolate mousse cake. There is, however, a catch. Puddings and cake start off from R49, which is what you’d pay at a coffee shop. I can highly recommend the cheesecake and chocolate mud pie offerings.
The platters, however, start from around R110 and – from what I saw on the promotional posters – aren’t very large. I had the opportunity to try out some of the offerings, but they were of average quality. According to Ster-Kinekor these platters will change constantly to keep up with food trends. It’s a great idea, but I may stick to popcorn.
That’s the end of the cons for Cine Prestige. Thankfully the pros are very pro indeed.
The cinema seats forty patrons and includes numerous love-seats, something Cape Town has been lacking. Each seat is large, red, and comfortable. They feature a touch panel to control the seats, which includes options to recline at different levels, a light to see your drink, and the ability to keep it cold as well. I’m more of a home entertainment kind of guy, but I really was impressed by the seats. It’ll be hard to go back to the normal airline-esque seats in standard theatres.
Ster-Kinekor has packed the theatres with, what they call, Bleeding Edge technology. It’s a more advanced projection and sound system. Unfortunately the movie I saw, Bad Bosses 2, did not show off this technology in the least. I feel Ster-Kinekor should have selected some sort of epic or 3D movie to really highlight the features – Interstellar comes to mind. The sound, however, really was superb, but again the movie in question was soft in places and didn’t have any bass to it.
Overall I’m impressed with the Cine Prestige experience. It’s expensive, but that means you’re treated to comfortable viewing and there’s no way any snot-nosed teenagers will purchase a R110 ticket and spoil your viewing pleasure. I know where I’ll be watching The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.