Shocking cinema conditions

South Africans are pretty lucky when it comes to cinema-going... barring the few noticeable incidents (read my posts on last year's 3D glasses rip-off and IMAX SA's closure).

There are enough loyalty programmes (Clicks ClubCard discounts, Discovery Vitality, Fanatics) and weekly specials (Half-price Tuesdays at Ster Kinekor, Woza Wednesdays at Nu Metro) that it's quite easy to enjoy the latest movies at the country's 2 big cinema chains without ever paying full price - up to R55 for a normal film, and up to R70 for a 3D movie. Such cinema discounts are non-existent in a good many other nations.

This said, if you're paying a premium price for a premium experience - and you know you're at a premium spot when it costs R15 just for 500ml of bottled water! - then you expect the cinemas to be in excellent condition. Two weeks ago I watched Super 8 at Pavilion Nu Metro. This was the shocking state of Cinema 6. And this when the Pavilion cinemas underwent extensive renovations only last year.

I'm posting this image here (taken with my cellphone) because a tweet directly to Nu Metro produced no response. And a blog post is far less ephemeral than a once-off communication of 140 characters.

Once-off problems occur at cinemas - the sound goes wonky, the film catches and burns in the projector, the aircon isn't working, a warm, furry rat grazes your ankle - but these issues typically/hopefully get resolved once patrons point them out. How you can let a cinema deteriorate to this condition without doing anything, and offering no forewarning to your paying customers, I really don't know...

Nu Metro, I'm sorry but this is unacceptable.


Wow that is appalling. But, man, I'm so over cinemas lately. I went to watch Harry Potter the other week. The sound was incredibly LOUD that speakers started cracking. Someone went to complain, but it was too late. The speakers were already sort of blown. Crackling was heard throughout the movie. I don't know why I still pay for movies.
Anonymous said…
I'm finished with cinemas , picture and sound quality is poor most of the times. They are not making money anymore and it shows.
Anonymous said…
It seems to be very much a NuMetro problem, as their cinemas in cape town are just as bad.
Cleric said…
Damn, that is bad! I've seen some damaged cinemas, but I've not seen conditions that far gone.

Usually here in PTA, the cinemas are in good shape. Well, a lot better than your picture :P
I've not seen torn seats though, but have had issues in a 3D movie, where the focus was off. Meaning that the 2 pictures displaying together (that forms the 3D illusion) wasn't lined up correctly, and caused the image to be blurred. That can drive me to the point where I'll walk out, make a scene and demand someone to fix it. But that shouldn't happen to begin with. I mean, before the movie starts, there are 3D previews, which they can use to prep before the main film starts...

Anyway. Cinemas should keep in mind that it's an entertainment venue, where ppl pay money to enjoy a new movie, and bad conditions shouldn't be expected.
Uberutang said…
Terrible sound. Bad seats. Out of Focus visuals. And then they charge for salt? Sorry Numetro (and free SALT SK) I am no longer a movie going member of the public.
Craig said…
I went to watch a film not so long ago at Ster Kinekor. The list of things that went wrong is quite substantial.
- The sound was out of sync, very out of sync
- They left the 'ambiance' music on , so throughout the movie we could hear 'The Lion King' soundtrack playing on repeat.. Hakuna Matata
- The air-con had packed up so it was extremely hot, in answer they opened all the doors to get a through breeze. All we got was noise from the outside.. not enough to drown out either the out-of-sync sound or the Lion King.

Fortunately the story has a slightly happy ending. I complained as should be expected of me.. and we received tickets back to be redeemed at a later date.
Anonymous said…
Canal Walk Cape Town is a mess. Dirty toilets, the cinemas are grimy, and they're yet yet to reply to my letter to them.

Pathetic! I'm downloading from now onwards.

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