Last updated on Aug 24th, 2020 at 08:49 am

Ster-Kinekor will reopen its cinema theatres in South Africa again on 28 August, but cinemagoers won’t be able to buy movie tickets or snacks inside cinema foyers, and other stringent hygiene and social distancing rules will be in place…

Press screenings of films for review purposes are also resuming for South Africa’s movie critics and journalists in Cape Town and Johannesburg from 1 September, with Durban that will follow soon.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is releasing on 28 August, while Disney’s live-action Mulan remake is set to be released on 11 September.

After having been shut for five months since late-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a national lockdown, Ster-Kinekor will reopen 32 of its cinemas on 28 August and its remaining 21 cinemas on 18 September 2020.

Nu Metro was asked on Wednesday when it might be opening its chain of cinemas but told Channel24 that it couldn’t officially comment on a reopening date.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Key changes put in place

At Ster-Kinekor only 50 cinemagoers, excluding staff, will be allowed per cinema theatre, and after a screening, customers will have to leave a theatre from the back, row by row. People will have to remove their empty snack containers to discard in the dustbins, which will be placed in the cinema foyers.

No physical movie tickets, or snacks and drinks from the concession stand, will be done inside cinema foyers and will have to be purchased through the Ster-Kinekor website or app.

Ster-Kinekor will implement a staggered approach for the starting and ending time of its carousel of films showing at cinemas at any given time, so that the number of people walking in to, existing out of, and queueing in foyers are reduced.

The cinema chain is also upping its cleaning regime and will sanitise frequently touched cinema surfaces. They will also be using a “misting device” which will be used to treat all auditoriums, as well as lounge areas, foyers, hand railings and seats.

Masks and temperature screening will be compulsory at Ster-Kinekor when entering the cinema foyer, but people will be allowed to temporarily remove them inside the auditorium to eat and drink.

“Phased approach to reopening”

Ster-Kinekor says that its reopening will be done in a phased approach “to ensure that operationally employees have been trained on the new Covid-19 health and safety measures and all the personal protection equipment (PPE) required is ready when trading”.

Motheo Matsau, Ster-Kinekor deputy CEO, said in a statement: “We’ve been getting ready to welcome patrons back to the cinema since [the] government’s announcement on 6 July 2020. We have taken every step to ensure the safe return of our guests and staff to the cinema with our staff having undergone extensive Covid-19 operations training.”

Ster-Kinekor says that it will “continue to sanitise the cinemas before and after each show and have increased our cleaning times between every show to make sure all our seats and surfaces are clean and safe”.

“All our staff will be screened before we open the cinemas each day, as well as at each shift. We will wear face masks and gloves where required, and our staff have been trained on safe work practices to ensure safety for themselves and for our guests.”

The Ster-Kinekor cinemas opening on 28 August:

  1. Western Cape: Bayside, Blue Route, Capegate, Cavendish, Garden Route, N1 City, Parow, Promenade, Somerset, Tyger Valley
  2. Gauteng: Brooklyn Commercial, Carnival City, Centurion, Cresta, Eastgate, Kolonnade, Mall of Africa, Sandton, The Grove, Vaal, Wonderpark
  3. KwaZulu-Natal: Gateway Commercial, Musgrave
  4. Eastern Cape: Baywest
  5. Free State: Mimosa
  6. Limpopo: Mall of the North
  7. Mpumalanga: Ilanga, Secunda
  8. North West: Mooi Rivier, Rustenburg
  9. Northern Cape :North Cape