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GATEWAY SETS RECORD (article first published : 2004-02-9)

South Africa’s top cinema destination – Gateway Theatre of Shopping at Umhlanga – has set a record for attendances within a movie complex in Africa.

In 2003, more than 1,4 million fans enjoyed a movie in the complex at Gateway, the giant leisure and retail centre. This was well ahead of other top cinema destinations, Cavendish Square in Cape Town and the Rosebank node in Johannesburg, incorporating The Zone @ Rosebank and The Mall, which drew more than 1,1 million movie-goers for the 12-month period. Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, Pretoria, also drew more than a million movie-goers over the year.

“Overall, Gateway registered 2,3 million people passing through its malls in December, bringing the total of shopper visits to more than 17 million for 2003,” says Brent Wiltshire, retail executive of Old Mutual Properties, which manages the various centres.

“Visitors to the main entertainment attractions at Gateway, including the cinemas, the Wave House, the Old Mutual/MTN Sciencentre, Fantasy Forest entertainment centre and Imax Theatre, together contributed 33% to the total annual shopper visits,” adds Brent. “The Sciencentre, the interactive science discovery centre at Gateway, had 35% more visitors than in 2002. The WaveHouse drew a record attendance for one day of almost 25,000 visitors on December 26.

“Attendance records highlight the linkage between retail and entertainment. They show movies and entertainment can be a major anchor to the retail experience, particularly since up to 70% of movie-goers end up spending money on other activities when visiting a shopping centre.“




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