Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org (
About: South African cinemas working with communities

Thu, 3 Oct 1996 18:16:28 -0400


Cinema complexes in the townships are a relatively new idea in South Africa,

although small entrepreneurs having been screening videos in packing crates
for years. The arrival of the moviehouse complete with good seats, clean
aisles and popcorn vending machines is due to the intervention of
enterprising Ster-Moribo, a company convinced nothing can be achieved
without community support.

Its two cinemas in Dobsonville and Daveytown are to be positioned as
community cinemas and are busy initiating their neighbors into their
development activities. Ster-Moribo's marketing manager Stan Mogotsi says
the company aims to improve facilities in the community in general in
addition to being the major provider of movies. Documentaries are already
being introduced at the cinemas with the aid of the Ster-Moribo Ladies' Club

and the Film Resource Unit, the region's major distributor of African films.

Set works including Maru, Julius Caesar and Macbeth are on offer along side
available titles on health issues, women's issues, career guidance and
religion. Organizations can select both the topic and the time for viewing.

Moreover, block booking of more than 50 people qualify for a substantial
discount. Ster-Moribo has also expressed willingness to expand the
programme by inviting experts to discuss issues raised in the films.
Meanwhile there is more planned that has nothing to do with the film but
everything to do with enhancing the community life.

In the interest of nation-building, Ster-Moribo is also lending support to
sports development, with a Daveytown fun run on October 6. Proceeds will
assist local athletes and the many schools run from shacks in the community.

But the highlight of the Ster-Moribo community calendar may well be the
company's beauty pageant to be held at the Carlton tonight. A group of 26
finalists have been chosen from contests held at cinemas in Gauteng.
Entrance to the public is free and the winners will share a booty of R30
000. Mogotsi says: "It is now up to the community to support us. Join us in
the fun and support our events which in turn create a strong community
spirit while supporting education and sports development".

For more information, including details on block bookings for documentaries,

call either the Dobsonville manager, Mariam Ntshanana or Mogotsi at

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