AFTER more than two decades in business, Ster-Kinekor at the Vincent Park shopping centre in East London has closed its doors.
The cinema traded for the last time on Sunday, Ster-Kinekor marketing executive Doug Place confirmed yesterday.
The owners of the shopping centre, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, decided not to renew the lease agreement.
“We open with the opening of malls. We are constantly in discussions with developers and we are looking to return to East London as soon as possible. That is, however, a long-term plan,” Place said.
He said said the cinema was doing well financially.
Ster-Kinekor Theatres CEO Fiaz Mahomed said: “It is with regret that we make this announcement as our loyal patrons in East London have supported this site since the opening of the six-cinema complex.”
Vincent Park centre manager Joseph Parsley said the centre was to undergo a R43.5-million revamp to accommodate new fashion and restaurant offerings.
Work is expected to start in March and should be completed by the end October.
Ster-Kinekor has been at Vincent Park since 1992.
“This is the first redevelopment at Vincent Park since the R150-million addition of 4500m² nearly four years ago. It is part of a strategic initiative by the owners, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, to ensure the centre continues to address market needs and trends,” he said.
“The Edcon Group will introduce a new fashion offering alongside its CNA store.
“Other newcomers include Fashion Express, Sports Scene and Exact in the fashion category. A further announcement on a major restaurant addition to the food court will be made once details are finalised.”
Parsley said Foschini would move into most of the Ster-Kinekor space and @Home would move into the existing Foschini space.
Steers will move into the vacant space next to Mugg & Bean in the Food Court, and Jay Jays will move from their current space into the old Steers space.
Facebook users shared their shock and disappointment at the closure of the cinema.
Shona Botes said: “East London actually needs more entertainment for its citizens, not less. Then people wonder why the kids are always walking the streets here with nothing to do.”
Jewel de Klerk said: “Heading for the status of one horse town and that horse is going to turn his toes up soon.” — firstname.lastname@example.org