Kine 1 & 2

14-16 Long Street,
Cape Town 8000

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The Van Riebeeck Theatre was situated at the corner of Long Street and Riebeeck Street, Cape Town. It was built in 1952 by the 20th Century Fox organisation.

The seating in this luxury cinema was accommodated in stalls and circle sections. It was the last of the large auditorium cinemas to be built in Cape Town’s downtown theatreland. It was first cinema in Cape Town capable of the 70mm Todd AO projection process with enhanced multichannel sound for the Mike Todd productions of the mid-1950’s.

The Van Riebeeck Theatre was named after Jan Van Riebeeck the Dutch Commander, who landed on the shores of Table Bay in 1652 almost exactly 300 years earlier, to set up a refreshment station for passing sailing ships of the Dutch East Indies Company.

In the early-1970’s the theatre was renovated and altered to a two screen complex and renamed Kine 1 and Kine 2. It was then part of the Ster-Kinekor chain.

This complex closed in the early-1990’s and the building was demolished. An office block housing an insurance company has been erected on the site.

Contributed by M van der Leer

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on February 11, 2008 at 8:30 pm

THIS THEATRE WAS NEVER OPERATED BY THE FOX THEATRE CHAIN.

OTCF
OTCF on March 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm

The advertisement for the Van Riebeeck Theatre on page 8 in the Cape Argus of May 12, 1954 and on Page 10 of the Argus of May 27, 1957 very clearly states that the Van Riebeeck Theatre is “A 20th Century-Fox Theatre”.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on March 14, 2008 at 2:45 pm

20th Century Fox and the Fox chain of theatres are seperate companies. 20th Century Fox is a film production company, they may have some interest in the theatre you are speaking of, but they have nothing to do with the Fox chain that operated here in the US. In fact, the original Fox chain sold to National General Theatres in the very early 60’s, later to sold to Mann Theatres in the mid 70’s. There has not been a Fox operated theatre since the early 60’s, yet 20th Century Fox Film Corp still is alive and well to this date.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Here in the UK, 20th Century Fox (the film production company) operated the Carlton Theatre, Haymarket, London, the Rialto Theatre, Coventry Street, London and the they built the Drake Cinema, Plymouth, Devon(Later taken over by Odeon). In a former Commonwealth country like South Africa, it is conceivable they built and operated the Kine 1 & 2.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on May 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Fox Films and theatres were part of the same co in the US until the Govt. made all motion picture companies divest of there theatres. This included Paramount, Fox, MGM and RKO. This was done in the 60’s. This sdid noy affect overseas territories at that time. They all built and operated there own theatres to display there studio product overseas. Fox sold to NGC. Paramount , MGM and RKO to local theatre operators.

desireè
desireè on June 30, 2013 at 6:21 am

hi..does anyone know where i can get some infos about who worked in “van riebeeck cinema” in the 60s.

MikeyB
MikeyB on March 2, 2015 at 1:26 am

I stand under correction, but the cinema was twinned well before the early 1980’s. During the early 1970’s, the cinema was the host of the Kinekor Kiddies Klub which used Kine 2, the former dress circle of the Van Riebeek. This was a highlight for kids of Cape Town as admission included a complimentary comic book and the session included a cartoon and a serial. I distinctly recall seeing front of house display materials for Zardoz which would place that around 1974. I also recall seeing Breakheart Pass in Kine 1, that would have been in 1975. Both screens were very impressive, the rake in Kine 2 was particularly pronounced allowing for an exaggerated stadium seating long before this was the norm. The former stalls in Kine 1 resulted in a relatively flat auditorium, but a very impressive one none the less.

OTCF
OTCF on May 18, 2015 at 1:07 am

I do agree with your comment that the cinema was twinned during the early 1970’s and not the early 1980’s.
Thanks for the correct info.

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