10-screen, 728-seat facility is first ever multiplex to open on Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia
Lebanese cinema chain, Empire Cinemas, has opened the first-ever multiplex in Jizan on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.
The 10-screen, 728-seat facility cost over $11 million and has been equipped by a regional unit of CinemaNext, a unit of Ymagis Group.
Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Jizan Region, opened the cinema at the city’s Al Rashid Mall.
The kingdom lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas last year as part of a far-reaching liberalisation drive, with US giant AMC Entertainment granted the first licence to operate movie theatres. The company has ambitious plans to open up to 40 cinemas in 15 cities over the next five years.
British operator Vue International has also revealed plans to build up to 30 multiplexes in the country in partnership with Saudi real estate outfit Abdulmohsin Al Hokair Holding.
Dubai-based Vox Cinemas is investing $533m in the kingdom with plans to open 600 screens in the next five years, while Cinépolis intends to set up 63 new screens in six cinema theatres across the country.
Al Rashed Empire Cinema Consortium is to open 30 cinemas across the country, and Seven, a subsidiary of the country’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund, is to set up the first movie theatre in Al Khobar.