129 years: History of Ster-Kinekor in South Africa

Ster-Kinekor plans to cut nearly a third of its 728 employees and close up to nine cinemas in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Here’s a history of the South African cinema giant…

INCEPTION OF STER-KINEKOR

Ster-Kinekor’s first movies were shown in South Africa in 1896 at the Empire Palace of Varieties in Commissioner Street, Johannesburg.

The first kinetoscopes in South Africa were opened to the public on 19 April 1895 in Herwoods Arcade on Pritchard and President streets in Johannesburg.

The company reveals that it operates 47 commercial cinema complexes in South Africa, with six international sites based in Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

The company reports that it also introduced the IMAX and Cine Prestige experiences, self-service catering and ticket reservations in more recent years. It also carries Cine Prestige screens, IMAX screens and 3D screens.

GREAT MOMENTS ON SCREEN

BusinessLIVE reports that Ster-Kinekor has stood the test of time with 395 screens, 57 155 seats, 860 staff, 650 tones of popcorn and a loyalty base of over a million people.

Cinema lovers share magical moments when they go to watch a movie, whether they’re holding hands on their first date, chick flick Thursdays or having a boys’ night.

Ster-Kinekor’s acting CEO, Motheo Matsau says: “When it comes to any highly anticipated blockbuster, few can dispute that it’s better on the big screen”.

Matsau adds that 2022 brought countless thrilling titles to Ster-Kinekor’s screens from The Minions: Rise of GruJurassic World: DominionTop Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

SOUTH AFRICANS STOP GOING TO THE CINEMA

The Citizen reports that Ster-Kinekor states that it needs to undergo restructuring due to challenging economic environment, load shedding and financial constraints.

The company adds that the Hollywood strikes also saw many movie releases being moved to 2025 and cheaper theatres were affected by this decision.

EWN reports that cinemas in South Africa struggled to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will close nine of its cinemas and expects to let go of around 236 employees.

According to MyBroadband, the company is also reviewing plans to close eight more cinemas, which would lead to the loss of an additional 69 jobs.

These cinemas include:

Secunda

Wonderpark

Bedfordview

Cradlestone

Mooi River

N1 City

Rosebank Nouveau

Rustenburg.

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