The ultra-big screen experience arrived in Johannesburg this week with the opening of the city’s first IMAX theatre, courtesy of the new Terminator movie
The IMAX experience came to Johannesburg this week, as Ster-Kinekor officially opened the doors of its fifth IMAX theatre in South Africa, and the first for the Johannesburg area, at its cinema complex at Cradlestone Mall, west of the city.
The venue opened for the premiere of the much-anticipated Terminator: Genisys in IMAX 3D.
The opening of this IMAX theatre follows the success of The IMAX Experience at four other Ster-Kinekor sites that have opened during the past year and a half. These include Gateway in Durban, The Grove Mall in Pretoria, Cape Gate in Cape Town, and Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth that opened in mid-June.
One of the cinemas at Cradlestone Mall has been transformed to accommodate the impressive floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall IMAX screen and superior acoustical treatment. The design of the auditorium and the seating layout ensures a thrilling IMAX experience at every screening, while the cutting-edge, dual-projection system delivers crystal-clear images. Coupled with its customised theatre design and powerful digital sound system, IMAX creates a unique cinema environment that makes audiences feel as if they are in the film.
Ster-Kinekor and IMAX have confirmed that the sixth theatre will be installed at the completely revamped Ster-Kinekor site at Eastgate shopping mall, which is scheduled to open towards the end of October this year. This latest deal brings Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX commitment to six theatres in under two years.
Says John Sikiotis, Managing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “We believe this new cinema will prove as popular with local cinema audiences as our other four IMAX theatres have been. We have no doubt that when our new Eastgate cinema complex opens later this year, movie lovers will also flock in their droves to the IMAX theatre there.”
Representing IMAX at the Cradlestone Mall opening was Giovanni Dolci, VP Theatre Development: EMEA at IMAX Corporation, who said: “It is wonderful to be back in South Africa again, and so soon after the successful launches of the other four IMAX theatres. We are impressed with the success of these sites since they started trading, and look forward to this new theatre achieving equally positive results.
“We entered into the initial partnership with Ster-Kinekor at the end of 2013, in the belief that it would not only raise our visibility in South Africa, but also set the stage for mutual growth opportunities in the region. It is encouraging to see that this is bearing fruit, with this theatre here at Cradlestone opening just a few weeks after Baywest, and a few months after Cape Gate.
“It is clear there is a growing appetite for films in the immersive IMAX format here in South Africa, and we look forward to working together with Ster-Kinekor to further entrench the IMAX brand in the local market,” commented Dolci.
Sikiotis added: “The IMAX Experience takes viewing a film to the next level. With blockbuster titles such as Marvel’s Ant-Man (31 July), Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (07 August) and Everest (18 September) scheduled for IMAX release in the next few months, we are looking forward to giving our audiences even ‘greater moments’ on the big IMAX screen.”
Android arrives on SA TVs
The arrival of the first name-brand Android TV in South African stores symbolises the shift to smart TVs, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
You probably have a good idea of what operating system (OS) runs on your phone, and may even know the version number. After all, Android and iOS almost define our relationships with our phones.
Not many, on the other hand, know anything about the OS on their TVs. Older TVs don’t even have names for their OS. Newer TVs with Internet connectivity, generally known as smart TVs, all have operating systems, but in most cases do not make a big deal of it. Only Samsung, with its Tizen OS, and LG, with webOS, are well-known. Then again, not all that well-known either.
Before Sony pulled out of the local TV market, it was about to introduce Android, the OS made by Google for smartphones, to the big box. A number of no-name brands have also debuted with Android, but consumers have tended to avoid them precisely because they were such an unknown quantity.
Enter Skyworth. It’s an $8-billion dollar business listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, but is only beginning to emerge as a presence in the South African market. It bought out Sinotec, the most popular budget big-screen TVs locally, and introduced the parent brand to the country in the last two years.
It keeps costs down because it brings in components from China, but assembles the TV sets at a local factory, thereby avoiding import duties on luxury items. Quality has rarely been an issue for Sinotec devices, and Skyworth seems to be benefiting from its long relationship with retailers.
Continue reading about the first Android TV contender in South Africa.
SA rises as Spotify turns 10
October 2018 marks 10 years since Spotify officially launched its music streaming platform and to celebrate this milestone, Spotify has taken a look at some of its biggest discoveries in music.
Spotify provided the following information:
The service only launched in South Africa in March this year, so this country is not included in the retrospective, but Spotify supplied Gadget with the following local streaming landmarks:
· Most streamed South African artist – Jeremy Loops
· Most streamed female South African artist – Shekhinah
· Highest first-day streaming record – AKA’s Beyonce
Since launch Spotify now sits at 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries. These Spotify users can enjoy a music library of over 40 million songs and podcasts, and over 3 billion-plus user-created playlists. As of 31 August 2018, Spotify has also paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch.
To date, over 2 000 genres of music have been identified on Spotify, among them Wonky (electronic music characterised by synths with unusual time signatures), Shimmer Pop (a Swedish cousin of indie pop and indietronica), and British Blues (the blues…with a British flavour).
Spotify has also done an assessment of “listening diversity,” – the number of artists the average user streams per month – which has risen on Spotify over the past 10 years, at an average of about 8% per year. In the past three years alone, listening diversity increased about 40% on the strength of new personalised and editorial playlists – meaning people are listening to an increased number of artists on a regular basis.
An official Decade of Discovery playlist features the most-streamed songs over the past decade, including favourites like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” Rihanna’s “Work,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” and the star-studded “Despacito Remix”.