Lights, camera, but no action for Ster Kinekor due to the current adjusted level 4 lockdown restrictions.
However, the cinema giant has appealed to the government to relax the restrictions to allow for movie theatres to reopen according to BusinessTech.
Their argument is that “Ster-Kinekor is compliant with all Covid-19 protocols, and the cinema remains one of the safest forms of entertainment due to access control, the ability to distance patrons accordingly, strict management of cleaning, and no-touch points for purchase – tickets, and confectionery can be purchased online.”
No infections have been traced back to cinema globally, stated Ster Kinekor as per BusinessTech.
“The health and safety of our staff and customers is our highest priority and we have been operating been under strict Covid-19 protocols and even exceeding governmental requirements,” the group expressed.
Business recovery mode for the cinema giant.
In 2020, the group had to close its cinematic doors for nearly five months due to restrictions. The entertainment industry as a whole was massively knocked by the first stages of hard lockdown, but cinematic experiences and live performances alongside broadcast events suffered greatly given the social nature of their businesses.
When restrictions were eased, there was a question of whether cinemas would be able to recover. However, according to Ster Kinekor, “Over 1.3 million customers in South Africa have visited the cinema since reopening at the end of August.”
They went on to express that:
“This new closure will have a devasting blow especially at a time when cinemas are starting to experience an encouraging increase in attendances,” it said.
Currently, Ster Kinekor is in business rescue which is defined by the Companies Act 2008 which “aims to facilitate the rehabilitation of a company that is ‘financially distressed.”
According to BusinessTech, Ster Kinekor entered into business rescue at the end of January 2021, with their business rescue practitioners aiming to publish a business rescue plan by July’s end.
Are Cinemas still relevant?
With all the options for online streaming, from Netflix to DSTV Now, the activity of going to the cinema may be an outdated notion, and perhaps the closing of theatres like Ster Kinekor’s was an inevitability. However, with that being said, when we consider how many people as previously mentioned, returned to the movies from lockdown’s ease in August, we can see there is still a market for a cinema experience. Yes microwaving popcorn and having a wider range of options is beneficial, but there is a sense of excitement that comes from going to the movies that most of us have experienced. The thrill of the big screen, the surround sound that has you feeling like the film’s main character, and of course the irreplaceable movie popcorn.
Picture: Ster Kinekor