The opening of the seventh IMAX® theatre in South Africa in just over three years is testament to the success and popularity of this premium cinema offering. The latest theatre opened its doors to the public on 28 April at the Mall of Africa, to coincide with the official opening of the new shopping mall strategically positioned between Johannesburg and Pretoria in Midrand.
As Ster-Kinekor expands the IMAX footprint to key sites across the country and continues to invest in the local market, South Africa now boasts the most IMAX cinemas on the African continent.
The new IMAX theatre forms part of Ster-Kinekor’s state-of-the-art, 1 122-seater cinema complex within the Mall. It also boasts two luxurious 3D-enabled Cine Prestige cinemas with their own VIP Lounge and exclusive catering offerings, a further six cinemas of which two are 3D-ready, and self-service ticketing and catering terminals for a seamless cinema experience.
The IMAX theatre celebrated its official opening on 18 May, with a special preview screening of Marvel’s X-Men: Apocalypse: An IMAX 3D Experience to more than 300 invited guests. The film releases nationwide on the Ster-Kinekor circuit, including its seven IMAX theatres, on Friday, 20 May, a week before its US opening.
“The prime position of Mall of Africa offers Ster-Kinekor an exciting new market of movie lovers to tap into and share great moments. Based on current performance of our IMAX theatres, and the great slate of blockbuster titles lined up in the coming months, I have every confidence that this new theatre will prove to be as successful,” said Wanda Matandela, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres.
“As the country’s leading cinema chain, we are excited to launch another top-class entertainment venue that will certainly contribute to an influx of new customers to the mall. Ster-Kinekor understands that people demand high quality entertainment experiences – being immersed in the very heart of the action in an IMAX theatre is a sure way to satisfy this expectation.”
The new IMAX cinema is fitted with a floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall IMAX screen, second in size only to the newly-opened IMAX cinema at Eastgate Shopping Centre. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customised theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that makes audiences feel as if they are part of the movie.
IMAX fans can look forward to a slate of big movie titles, such as X-Men: Apocalypse (20 May); Alice through the Looking Glass (27 May); Warcraft (10 June); Finding Dory (17 June); Independence Day: Resurgence (24 June); Suicide Squad (05 August); and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, all releasing in IMAX 3D over the next few months.
“With all the action, drama and adventure that these films bring to the big screen, watching it in our new IMAX theatre takes cinema viewing to a whole new level. Directors produce films to be experienced on the big screen, and I don’t think you can get much better than watching one of the year’s most anticipated films in the world’s most immersive cinema format,” commented Matandela.
Giovanni Dolci, VP theatre development, EMEA at IMAX Corporation, said: “The rapid expansion of the IMAX format in South Africa is most encouraging. I was here for the official opening of the IMAX theatre at Eastgate in December last year, and am back less than six months later for another opening.
“The theatres continue to perform for us in this market, and have delivered positive growth over the past three years. We are confident that this impressive cycle will continue with the opening of this, Ster-Kinekor’s seventh site,” stated Dolci.