Ster-Kinekor has announced it will reopen its cinemas in South Africa from 28 August 2020.
The company’s cinemas have been closed since the start of the national lockdown on 27 March.
The reopening will be done in a phased approach to ensure that employees are operationally trained in COVID-19 health and safety measures and all necessary equipment is ready when trading begins.
The first 32 cinemas will resume operation on 28 August, while the remaining 21 cinemas will reopen on 18 September.
Ster-Kinekor Deputy CEO Motheo Matsau said the company has been preparing to welcome patrons back since the government announced cinemas could reopen 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,” Matsau said.
The company will implement a number of extraordinary measures to ensure its cinemas are safe for its customers.
This includes using a misting device to treat its facilities’ frequently touched surfaces, lounge areas, foyers, hand railings, and seats.
Cinemas will also be sanitised before and after each show, with cleaning times increased to ensure seats and surfaces are safe.
To limit contact, no transactions will take place in the cinema and all movie tickets and snacks must be purchased through the Ster-Kinekor App or website.
Other measures include regulated seating, marked foyer floors to manage social distancing, as well as longer show staggers to manage the number of people in cinema foyers at any one time.
After the show, guests will be required to exit the auditorium row-by-row starting from the back of the cinema and must discard their empty snack containers in the dustbins which will be placed in the cinema foyers.
The wearing of masks and temperature screening will be compulsory when entering the cinema foyer, although masks may be temporarily removed in the auditorium to enjoy refreshments, Ster-Kinekor said.
In addition, all staff will be screened before opening each day, as well as at between shifts.
“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,” Ster-Kinekor said.
Ster-Kinekor added that there are a number of blockbusters which moviegoers can look forward to.
This includes Christopher Nolan’s anticipated Tenet, which will be releasing 28 August, and Disney’s live-action Mulan remake which will be in theatres on 11 September.