Saudi gets new cineplexes: Arabian Centres opens 22 new movie screens

Two of the latest offerings are the first cinemas to open in Saudi cities

  
A Saudi woman wearing a protective mask looks at the movie poster board at VOX Cinema in Riyadh Park Mall, after the government lifted the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia June 25, 2020.

A Saudi woman wearing a protective mask looks at the movie poster board at VOX Cinema in Riyadh Park Mall, after the government lifted the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia June 25, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres Company (ACC) has just unveiled new cinema complexes with a combined 22 movie screens.

The new cineplexes, launched over the last few days, are located in Saudi Arabia’s Jubail Mall, Ahsa Mall and Haifa Mall.

The latest entertainment offerings, however, will be operated at 50 percent capacity, in adherence to the government’s health and safety protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus.

“These launches mark the fifth, sixth and seventh cinemas introduced at ACC locations,” the company said in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) on Sunday.

Locations

The cinema theatre in Jubail Mall, said to be the first cineplex to be opened in Jubail city, opened on August 24 and it offers five screens with a seating capacity of 440. It sits on a 1,742-square-metre gross leasable area (GLA).

Another first, the cinema in Ahsa Mall of Al Hofuf city opened on August 26. It has a total of eight screens and can accommodate up to 910 people. It occupies an area of 2,865 square metres.

The third ACC cineplex opened in Jeddah’s Haifa Mall on August 28. It’s the second theatre operated by ACC in Jeddah and it features nine screens with 830 seats on a 2,452-square-metre area.

The latest offerings are expected to boost footfall at Arabian Centres’ shopping malls and improve the lifestyle of residents in the kingdom.

“The comprehensive rollout of cineplexes across our portfolio is part and parcel of our strategy to deliver a premier lifestyle experience to our millions of visitors. These incremental footfall generators will help cement Arabian Centres’ position at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s nascent and rapidly developing leisure and entertainment sectors,” said Faisal Al Jedaie, chief executive officer of ACC.

As part of the Vision 2030 of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on cinemas that lasted more than three decades.

Saudi private equity firm Swicorp announced last week the opening of a nine-screen complex of AMC Cinemas in the kingdom. AMC is one of the largest cinema chains in the world with approximately 1,000 theatres and 11,000 screens around the world.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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© ZAWYA 2020


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