S.African’s Ster-Kinekor bets on driving theater under the stars

South African film lovers sit in their cars as they attend a rooftop movie theater where Ster-Kinekor, South Africa’s largest film crew in Sandton, South Africa, captures a giant projector screen on June 24, 2021. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) – Under the stars of a South African night, cinema-goers seeking cinema among the shops at Johannesburg’s Sandton City Mall have watched the latest releases on the big screen roof park since the pandemic.

Drive-in movies are enjoying a recovery in many parts of the world, but in South Africa, stakes are higher due to the slow introduction of COVID-19, which makes a particularly difficult return to normal and leaves more companies at risk of closure.

Ster-Kinekor, Africa’s largest film group, is betting on form to win over customers who are afraid of getting the coronavirus. It applied in January for losses related to rescuing companies, local bankruptcy protection, lock restrictions.

“For us, the big goal is to keep the industry alive … and keep the movie theater and big screens in mind for the pinnacle of consumer entertainment software,” Acting. CEO Motheo Matsau told Reuters.

Like his peers, Ster-Kinekor had to quit from the end of March 2020 to the end of August 2020. Since August, it has operated under a curfew and limited to gatherings.

“Closing for six months for a company like ours is a miracle that we are still honest,” Matsau said.

According to him, the run-in film will allow the entire industry to measure people’s willingness to return to cinemas and find out how strong the case is to save the business.

For movie goers, Satya Praksh and her boyfriend Quinton Lamb offered an experience of protective personal bubble and a new kind of cozy relaxation.

“I love that we can be warm because it’s really cold … and we can bring our own snacks and blankets unlike a (normal) movie theater,” Praksh, 21, said. “We can talk during a (movie). We don’t have to worry about being quiet and tripping over someone’s feet.”

Nqobile Dludla reporting; Edited by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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