Magazine article Screen International

Cinemas Could Return to Saudi Arabia as Early as April 2018

Magazine article Screen International

Cinemas Could Return to Saudi Arabia as Early as April 2018

Article excerpt

Multiplexes could soon be built in the country.

Riyadh

Saudi Arabia could see the return of commercial cinemas as early as April according to several sources at Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), where some companies are already pitching themselves as potential film distributors for the Kingdom.

Riyadh and Jeddah, the country’s two largest cities, are both expecting to see the opening of state-of-the-art multiplexes in what is the largest economy in the Arab world, with a nominal GDP of slightly more than a trillion dollars.

UK-based Vue Entertainment is seen as the likeliest operator of the first cinemas after its CEO Tim Richards was invited to an investment conference in the capital city of Riyadh in October. He talked about reclining seats and laser projection aimed at a market where two thirds of the population are under the age of 30 and avid consumers of YouTube.

But also waiting in the wings are other chains such as Wanda Group’s AMC Theaters, which have been closely monitoring developments. …

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