Saudi Arabia to open its first movie theatre in over 35 years

The Middle Eastern nation will open its first theatre in Riyadh on April 18.

AMC Theatre © dallashangerphoto

On Wednesday, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information granted the first license to operate a theatre in the country to AMC, the world’s largest movie theatre chain.

The kingdom’s decision to lift a 35-year ban on cinemas has inspired a land rush as theatre chains jockey to be among the first to break into the market.

The Minister of Culture and Information Dr Awwad Al-Awwad told the Saudi Gazette that the license will provide important investment opportunities for operating cinema theatres and that the majority of the Kingdom’s population is under 30 years of age, who are eager to watch their favourite movies in their own country.

“Among the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is to improve the quality of life by providing additional recreational opportunities. The opening of cinema theatres will help support the local economy keeping the spending by families within Saudi Arabia in addition to contributing to creating new job opportunities in the Kingdom,” Al-Awwad added.

About 350 movie theatres with over 2500 screens are expected to be opened by the advent of 2030.
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