Cinemas abroad are reportedly using plastic seat covers at theatres screening the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, which has whipped up much enthusiasm as fans anticipate lashings of kinky, passionate and steamy sex.
Cutting expensive clean-ups
The movie is based on the erotic fiction best-selling novel by British author E.L. James which has sold over 100 million books and has been translated into 52 languages.
It is opening on Friday in South African cinemas. Aptly, a day before Valentine’s Day, and also in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Week and Condom Week, which runs from 10 to 16 February 2015.
As pre-sales for the movie break records abroad, unverified claims are doing the rounds that management at cinemas have reportedly fitted wipe able plastic covers to theatre seating where the movie will be screened. This is apparently in an attempt to cut expensive clean-ups after each screening.
“We went out and we bought up thousands of seat covers at a discounted price,” Steven Brennan, a spokesperson for the OmniScreen chain of cinemas, is quoted as saying to satire news website Waterford Whispers News.
“It’ll cut down on the amount of time we have to spend shampooing the seats after each viewing, and having to wait for them to dry. Our teams will be able to run in with a couple of chamois cloths and have the screen ready for the next showing in minutes”.
No covers in SA
This is not the case in South Africa, movie houses Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro, have confirmed to Health24.
"Nu Metro Cinemas won't be placing seat covers on seats as reported for some overseas cinemas," said Nu Metro Cinemas spokesperson Nitesh Matai.
He said this is not relevant to a general cinema release with artistic credibility, based on a best-selling piece of respected literature.
"Nu Metro Cinemas employs high-standard cleaning services to maintain hygiene at all their cinemas for all movie shows daily."
He said Cinemas also undergo a deep cleaning every three months. This entails cleaning the carpets and all upholstery using a special solution that penetrates the fabric, through the sponge and the metal of seat.
Ster-Kinekor told Health24 that it appears that some of the smaller cinemas have implemented this, but not the large cinema chains. "Ster-Kinekor will not be doing this at its cinemas," said Ster-Kinekor Theatres marketing executive Doug Place.
Image: Dakota Johnson plays university student Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan takes on the role of entrepreneur Christian Grey. (Supplied)
Matai indicated that in terms of the Girls' Night Out pre-release screening for the movie tonight at Nu Metro cinema complexes nationwide, tickets have been sold out for all cinemas in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth
"These Nu Metro Cinemas screenings tonight are for women only - over 14 000 tickets sold," he said.
Matai said that with about 10-12 theatres all sold out, it is the biggest showing of one movie. "Never before has any cinema in South Africa done such a big showing."
He said that tickets booked for the general release of the movie throughout the weekend are also starting to reach sold out-status at some cinemas nationally, with an expected 40 000 ticket sales.
Ster-Kinekor said it is not in a position to disclose ticket sales figures. Place would only say that the number of tickets sold to date was already triple the number of pre-ticket sales it experienced on any other title prior to this.
"Our initial predictions set the R6 million mark for opening weekend, and over R25 million for its cinema run,” according to marketing manager Stefan Rheeder from UIP South Africa, the local distributor for the film.
"South Africans are obviously very loyal to EL James’s trilogy and its success lies deep inside the identification with their favourite characters, Anastasia and Christian," he said.
What the movie is about
Dakota Johnson plays university student Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan takes on the role of entrepreneur Christian Grey.
She is young and inexperienced and he is enigmatic and wealthy – and they are drawn to each other.
Together they push the boundaries of pain and pleasure as they explore the world of bondage, domination, sadism and masochism in the bedroom.
The movie carries a 16 LNS age restriction and the running time is 125 minutes.
Watch the trailer here:
What is the intimate condom?
Vaginal douching ups STI risk
Supermarket trolleys dirtier than toilets
Are public swimming pools unhygienic?