Home Entertainment SA cinemas will open later this month – Here are the safety protocols that will be in place

SA cinemas will open later this month – Here are the safety protocols that will be in place

3 min read

Have you missed walking around on sticky floors, eating stale popcorn, drinking flat soda, children kicking you in the spine, and having your retinas melted by a cellphone lighting up in the dark as you’re trying to follow a story? Well, you’re in luck! With South Africa moving to Level 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown as of this week, cinemas are officially now set to reopen in just over a week’s time on Friday, 28 August.

So how will going to the cinema work in a COVID-19 world? Well, Ster-Kinekor has released its guide as to how the cinema chain will operate during this time. You can check it out in the embedded Twitter posts below.

For those of you who can’t view the video above, here are the key points:

  • Wearing masks will be mandatory
  • Cinemas, including all frequently touched surfaces and lounge areas outside, will be sprayed down with a sanitizing mist regularly
  • The number of cinemagoers will be limited per venue to conform to government regulations
  • Individual seats/whole rows will be cordoned off to maintain 1.5m social distancing regulations
  • No cash transactions will be allowed at the venue – all ticket and concession sales need to be done via the Ster-Kinekor mobile app or website

We’re yet to see anything from NuMetro – the other big cinema chain in SA – but I would be very surprised if they deviated from this approach in any way. Is this enough to get you comfortable going back to the cinema though? My biggest point of contention is that concessions are still being sold. Understandably, this is actually where cinemas make their money and not movie ticket sales (hence the inflated prices), but making masks mandatory is pointless when you’re also encouraging people to remove them to consume snacks. There’s also no mention of additional ventilation, as several international cinema chains have employed as part of their reopenings.

As for what you will actually get to see at the cinema seeing as 2020 has been plagued with high profile movie delays, currently, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is actually scheduled to open on IMAX on 28 August so that may just be a big enough lure to get movie fans back. A week later we’re getting The New Mutants (4 September) and then Mulan a week after that (11 September). Will you be going to see any of them?

Last Updated: August 19, 2020

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