RIYADH — Cinema ticket prices are expected to go down drastically in Saudi Arabia following the decision of the Film Commission to cut licensing fees for practicing and operating cinemas.

The Board of Directors of the Film Commission, chaired by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah, approved the decision to reduce the financial fees for licenses. These include the fees for licenses to practice the activity of operating permanent and temporary cinemas, licenses for cinemas for specialized needs, and licenses for operating permanent and temporary cinemas, and cinemas for specialized needs.

The Film Commission revealed the updated cinema license costs after they were reduced as follows:

License to practice the activity of operating permanent or temporary cinemas or those with specialized needs:

Permanent cinema: The reduced cost in “A” category cities is SR25,000 instead of SR210,000. In the “B” category cities, the reduced cost is SR15,000 instead of SR126,000 while in the “C” category cities, the revised cost is SR5,000 instead of SR84,000.

Temporary cinema: The reduced cost in category “A” cities is SR15,000 instead of SR105,000. The cut in fees in category “B” cities is SR10,000 instead of SR63,000 while in category “C” cities the reduced cost is SR5,000 instead of SR42,000.

The commission also slashed the fee for license to operate a cinema to show one or more films on a permanent or temporary basis:

Permanent cinema: The reduced fee in “A” category cities is SR3,000 per branch instead of SR21,000 per screen. The reduced fee in “B” category cities is SR2,000 instead of SR12,600 while in the C category cities, the cost is SR1,000 instead of SR8,400.

Temporary cinema: The reduced fee in “A” category cities is SR500 per branch instead of SR5,000 per screen. The reduced fee in “B” category cities SR500 instead of SR5,000 while in “C” category cities the current fee is SR500 instead of SR5000.

The commission board meeting decided to transfer the jurisdiction of giving license for the operation of production studios, as well as for the production of visual and audio content, and distribution of cinematographic films, in addition to issuing a no-objection license for cinematography to the Film Commission. The commission will start receiving applications for licenses through Ibdaa cultural platform.

The board has approved to activate financial compensation discounts for cinema ticket revenues and fees, in order to stimulate the private sector to reduce ticket prices and provide attractive promotions to the public, which contributes to the expansion and opening of large number of cinema screens, and wider screenings of Saudi films at the local box office.

The decisions confirm that the Film Commission will continue its drive to achieve its strategic goals for the film industry by increasing the box office in Saudi Arabia, as well as the economic contributions of companies in the sector, and supporting cultural and creative diversity in cinema. This is in addition to developing a competitive environment that encourages investment in the cinema sector and improve the viewing experience for the public, which contributes to consolidating the position of Saudi Arabia as a leading center in the film industry in the region.

Film Commission CEO Eng. Abdullah Al-Qahtani said that at the commission we are working to stimulate the film industry by encouraging private sector companies operating cinemas in Saudi Arabia to offer discounts and promotions to cinema audiences, with the aim of enhancing film culture in the Kingdom. “We also work intensively to enhance the presence of Saudi films by stimulating the showing of Saudi films in various cinemas,” he said.

Al-Qahtani said that the reduction of the fees for cinema licenses and ticket fees came to be in line with the international average, and to support cinema companies in the sustainability and growth of the sector.

It is noteworthy that the Film Commission, since its establishment, has been responsible for developing the film sector in Saudi Arabia to enhance the cinematic movement by achieving its strategic goals, which include developing the infrastructure and regulatory framework, encouraging financing and investment, ensuring the sector’s access to local talent, stimulating local production, and attracting international production.


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