Now that theatres are reopening, this is what the future of cinema will look like

This photo taken on July 16, 2020 shows a volunteer spraying disinfectant in a cinema as it prepares to reopen to the public in Sihong county in Suqian in China's eastern Jiangsu province. Most Chinese cinemas will be allowed to reopen from July 20 with social distancing rules following months of coronavirus closures, authorities said on July 16, as domestic infections remained at zero for 10 straight days. (Photo by STR / AFP)

The cinemas will implement regulated seating, marked foyer floors to manage social distancing as well as longer show staggers to manage the number of people in their foyers at any one time.

From 28th August 2020, cinema lover across the nation will once again get to enjoy their favourite films on the big screen.

This after cinema giant Ster-Kinekor announced that it would be reopening its various sites in a phased approach to ensure that operationally employees have been trained on the new Covid-19 health and safety measures and all the PPE required is ready when trading.

“Ster-Kinekor will start trading with 32 cinemas on the 28 August followed by the remaining 21 sites on 18 September 2020,” explained the company in a statement.

Ster-Kinekor deputy CEO Motheo Matsau said: “We’ve been getting ready to welcome patrons back to the cinema since 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.”

In order to ensure that all Ster-Kinekor cinemas will operate with new safety procedures that ensure compliance with directives set out by government, a number of new operation rules will be put in place:

  • Each theatre will be permitted a maximum of 50 guests per auditorium (excluding staff)
  • Each cinema will offer regulated seating
  • Each cinema will feature marked foyer floors to manage social distancing
  • Ster-Kinekor will implement longer show staggers to manage the number of people in their foyers at any one time. “We will ensure stringent hygiene protocols are in place for the safety of our guests and staff.”
  • To limit contact, no transactions will take place in cinema and all movie tickets and snacks must be purchased through the Ster-Kinekor App or on our website.
  • After the show, guests will be required to exit the auditorium row-by-row starting from the back of the cinema and are requested to remove their empty snack containers to discard in the dustbins which will be placed in the cinema foyers.

“Our already high cleaning standards will be enhanced by a cleaning protocol designed to sanitise frequently touched surfaces in the cinema. Before we open our doors, we will use a misting device to treat all our auditoria, as well as our lounge areas, foyers, hand railings and seats.”

“We 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.”

As is the case with most public spaces these days, masks and temperature screening will be compulsory when entering the cinema foyer however masks may be temporarily removed in the auditorium to enjoy the refreshments.

“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.”

Returning movie-goers can look forward to seeing Christopher Nolan’s Tenet releasing 28 August and Disney’s live-action Mulan remake set to be released 11 September.

Should you wish to head to the cinema, you can book your tickets at sterkinekor.com or download the SK App on your smartphone.

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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