2020 has been a tough year for cinema chains. Global lockdowns have prevented them from being able to make any form of revenue during the past few months and sadly may leave many companies out of business in the near future, despite some government support. In South Africa, where the majority of our movie theatres are owned by the two big giants Nu Metro and Ster-Kinekor, things are likely to get tough pretty soon, but it’s the smaller theatres that are really out of pocket with no other ways of making money.
One Cape Town theatre is trying to take matters into its own hands and is creating its own On Demand service for people to watch movies instead. The Labia, which is Cape Town’s oldest movie theatre and one that still retains a lot of its classic old charm that has made it an iconic part of the city’s moviegoing landscape, has announced the creation of a new on-demand service that they will be rolling out to the public.
Labia Home Screen has been born out of the lockdown. We’ve been at home since March without any income and thought about what we could do to earn an income. We had several patrons asking us, so we thought that a streaming service would make sense. We investigated it and finally got it together, and we’re hoping to launch on Wednesday
We’ll have our four screens there, and then we’ll have a so-called fifth screen at home.
Film festivals and film-related events will also be featured on the platform. Maybe it’s part of our new normal in addition to and complementary to what we hope to continue to do at the Labia once we can reopen
While there are many other on-demand services they are competing with, The Labia is instead going to focus on arthouse movies, something which fits in with the movies it normally shows. The service will start on July 1st at a cost of R60 where people will then have 6 hours in which to watch one of the following movies: Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Clouds of Sils Maria, Tracks, Elle and Cold War, with more to come in future.
R60 is a lot of money if you compare it to the likes of MultiChoice’s home theatre, but these are movies that you aren’t going to find on there and besides the R60 here goes to support a local small business and so will definitely leave you feeling warm and fuzzy as you depart with your money. Theses movies are probably not for everyone, but Labia knows its patron who will no doubt like these offerings. It’s also great to see some innovative thinking coming from one of the country’s oldest movie houses.
Last Updated: July 1, 2020