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IMAX comes to Joburg

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Arts and Entertainment

Avengers’ all-time accolade

This past weekend Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War became the second highest grossing film of all time at the South African Box Office.

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This means that Marvel Studios now holds the number 2 and number 1 film of all time positions at the local Box Office, following Black Panther’s unprecedented record-shattering run since it’s 16 February 2018 release.

In South Africa, audiences continued to assemble in cinemas to witness the cinematic journey ten years in the making, earning Avengers: Infinity War a current total box office tally of just under R73 million with over 874 000 attendances.

Black Panther’s historic box office journey ended in June and now boasts a final box office total just shy of R107.5 million and over 1.43 million attendances, making it the biggest film of all time at the South African box office and the first to cross the R100m mark. This record builds on Black Panther’s list of achievements on the African continent and is the biggest grossing film of all time not only in South Africa, but also East and West Africa. Black Panther is now available to enjoy on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as to digitally rent or buy from retailers and providers across the continent.

Elsewhere in Africa, Avengers: Infinity War has also raked in a total of Kes 66.9m in East Africa, making it the 2nd highest grossing film of all time behind Black Panther. Similarly, in West Africa, the film hit N450m at the box office, making it the 2nd highest grossing international film of all time, also behind Black Panther.

For Marvel Studios fans, the action and adventure continues as the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp, hit cinemas this past weekend and created enough buzz to fly into the number one position at the South African Box Office.

“We are thrilled at the response that Marvel Studios’ titles have continued to receive from cinema-goers across the continent,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With Ant-Man and The Wasp in cinemas, and both Captain Marvel and the next Avengers film in 2019, we are eagerly anticipating the continuing expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to celebrating with fans.”

On the animated front and with its own super hero theme, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2, continues to entertain families across the country and is already Disney’s second-highest grossing animated film of all time behind Finding Dory, after only 3 weeks in release.

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