Looking for the perfect outing over the holiday season? Whether it’s family time, chilling with your besties, or the perfect date night that you’re after, there is something for everyone to enjoy on the big screen at your favourite Ster-Kinekor cinema.

For the thrill of the big IMAX 3D experience, nothing can beat watching the much-anticipated Avatar: The Way of Water on the biggest screen. The film, which released countrywide on 16 December, is a generational family epic playing out against the brilliant colours and majesty of an expanded Pandoran landscape. Thirteen years in the making, the sequel to the original blockbuster picks up with Jake Sully living with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their planet.

In all his films, director and writer James Cameron creates a fully immersive cinema experience in which audiences feel they are right with the characters on their adventures. And that’s never been truer than by viewing Avatar: The Way of Water in one of Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX 3D cinemas. Cameron says: “You go into a movie theatre, and you’re being transported to a fictional fantasy world. The more you can suspend your disbelief, the more fun it is. There’s almost a contract between the movie and the audience—we’re all just gonna join hands and skip off to Pandora together. It’s gonna be fun.”

We make movies for the big screen,” says Avatar producer Jon Landau. “Why do people turn to entertainment today? To escape. And you can only escape so far on your mobile device, or on a home big screen. When you go to the theatre, you get lost in the images on screen, the characters, and the world of that movie. There’s nothing like it.”

This film should be on your must-watch list this holiday season, and in IMAX 3D preferably.

If it’s the younger members of the family who need entertaining, Ster-Kinekor has a few treats in store for them – and remember to try out the special Kids Cinemas at select sites for a fun-filled time at the movies. Showing now is Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, in which the wily cat discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll: he has burned through eight of his nine lives. Puss sets out on an epic journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives.

Follow the adventures of another animated cat in The Amazing Maurice, which releases at Ster-Kinekor cinemas on 23 December. The story follows Maurice, a goofy streetwise cat, who has the perfect money-making scam. He finds a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe and has his very own horde of rats, who are strangely literate.

If you love the music of Whitney Houston, be sure to catch the new biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody starring Naomi Ackie in the title role. The film releases in select Ster-Kinekor cinemas on 23 December and follows the joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical super stardom.

A rollercoaster ride of a movie, and perfect for pure holiday escapism, is Shotgun Wedding, starring J Lo (Jennifer Lopez) and Josh Duhamel. Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘shotgun wedding’, a couple’s extravagant destination wedding is hijacked by criminals. In the process of saving their families, they rediscover why they fell in love in the first place. Catch it on the big screen from 30 December – and make it the perfect date night in a Cine Prestige cinema.

“Watching a movie in a Ster-Kinekor cinema promises our audiences an interference-free and loadshedding-free (at select sites) experience for you to enjoy the movie, the whole movie… and nothing but the movie,”
says Lynne Wylie, head of marketing at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

“It’s all the special moments that add up to a great movie-watching experience in the cinema. The smell of freshly popped and salted popcorn, the yummy slushies, the large relaxing leather seats, the immersive IMAX experience, and of course, the excitement as the lights fade and the movie starts playing – from beginning to end – on the big screen with surround sound.”