Nu Metro has announced that it will reopen most of its flagship cinema complexes on Friday 28 August 2020.
The following cinema complexes will be reopening:
- Nu Metro Hyde Park (Johannesburg) – including 4DX and VIP theatres; VIP cinema complex.
- Nu Metro Emperors Palace (Johannesburg) – including 4DX, VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro Clearwater Mall (Johannesburg) – including VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro The Glen (Johannesburg) – including VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro Westgate (Johannesburg).
- Nu Metro Menlyn Park (Pretoria) – including 4DX, VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro Woodlands (Pretoria) – VIP cinema complex.
- Nu Metro Canal Walk (Cape Town) – including VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro Worcester.
- Nu Metro Ballito Junction (Ballito) – including VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro Cornubia Mall (Durban) – including 4DX, VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro The Pavilion (Durban) – including 4DX and VIP theatres.
- Nu Metro Galleria (Amanzimtoti) – including VIP and Xtreme theatres.
- Nu Metro Boardwalk (Port Elizabeth).
- Nu Metro Loch Logan (Bloemfontein).
- Nu Metro Masingita Mall (Giyani, Limpopo).
The six remaining Nu Metro cineplexes will reopen in the near future, Nu Metro said, but must remain temporarily closed as part of Nu Metro’s “responsible reopening strategy”.
“Nu Metro is very excited to go big again with the magic of the movies,” said Nu Metro marketing and content executive Chantelle Burrows.
“Nu Metro has been anxiously anticipating this moment to reopen our doors to movie fans once again, as part of a coordinated industry effort to restart this business we love to call showbiz.”
Nu Metro said that it will initially only be opening its cinemas to the public on Fridays to Sundays, as well as on public holidays.
Daily showtimes will be limited, and some movies will be screened over several screens with staggered time slots per complex.
It also noted that the scheduling of its films will ensure adherence to the 22:00 national curfew, and will include measures to support social distancing.
Nu Metro confirmed that alongside its standard 2D and 3D cinemas, most of its “premium cinema experiences” will also reopen on a limited basis in select complexes.
These include multi-sensory 4DX, “Premium Large Format” Xtreme, and luxurious VIP theatres.
Nu Metro’s VIP theatres will include bar- and sit-down restaurant services that implement the necessary social distancing and other preventative measures.
In-cinema dining ordered from Nu Metro’s VIP menu will also be served according to the health and safety regulations.
Safety protocols for customers
Nu Metro detailed some of the key health and safety protocols it will be implementing in its cinemas:
- Online bookings are encouraged through Nu Metro’s website. At cinemas, purchases can be made at the self-service terminals, box office and confectionary/catering counters with the required safety precautions. Contactless tap and go payment facilities are also available in cinemas.
- Mask-wearing will be mandatory for all customers and staff within all Nu Metro’s cinema complexes nationwide. Masks can only be taken off while eating or drinking.
- Temperature checks will be done on arrival for all customers at access points to cinema complexes. This is in addition to hourly temperature and hygiene check-ups being done on staff by each complex’s appointed compliance officer.
- Nu Metro is enabling social distancing by introducing at least 1.5 metre of distance between booked seats. This measure has been introduced by blocking 2 ‘buffer’ seats on either side of a customer’s selection. Such blocked seats appear in a zigzag pattern throughout each auditorium. Only two customers per booking can be seated next to each other, with ‘buffer’ seats blocked on either side, in front and behind them.
- Cinema capacity is also capped at below 50 visitors, in compliance with the recommended specifications from the South African Government.
- Floor decals and other communications in cinemas will manage the same social distancing measures in cinema foyers.
- The stagger-time between shows has been increased to limit the number of guests in foyers at the same time. Staff will further support standard access control and crowd management measures.
- Customers will have direct access to hand sanitiser at cinema access points and 70-80% of all other areas in each of Nu Metro’s reopened complexes nationwide.
- All cinemas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each and every show, along with a nightly deep-cleaning of all complexes.
- All high-touch point areas such as kiosks, self-service terminals, serving counters, door handles, rails, benches, booths and bathroom areas will be disinfected on a regular basis daily – with the cleaning frequency for service counters every 30 minutes.
- All Nu Metro staff have been retrained in effective and frequent hand-washing – targeting fronts, backs, wrists and between fingers – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time.
- Popcorn seasoning shakers/dispensers have been replaced by sealed, disposable sachets, along with other precautionary measures at confectionary/catering counters.
What you can watch at Nu Metro
Nu Metro said that Christopher Nolan’s Tenet movie will be the first major film scheduled for its cinemas’ reopening.
A selection of recent box office hits and other audience favourites will also be screened during the first phase of its reopening.
“This scheduling strategy is due to the limited availability of new filmed content for cinemas worldwide, caused by the postponement of films’ release dates globally following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Nu Metro.