Full house as cinema returns to Saudi Arabia

Full house as cinema returns to Saudi Arabia

Plans call for opening about 350 cinemas representing 2,500 screens by 2030, generating an expected $1 billion in annual box office receipts and making the Kingdom the 11th largest theatrical exhibition market in the world. The growth of the exhibition sector is expected to create around 30,000 permanent jobs and some 130,000 temporary positions, by 2030

It was a full house on Friday night in the Saudi capital of Riyadh at the country’s first cinema as the first public screening of a commercial film in more than three decades took place, reports said.

A mixed crowd of hundreds of movie-lovers filed into the brand-new state-of-the-art movie theatre at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh to watch the Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Black Panther’, the world’s highest grossing film so far in 2018.

The initial public screening was preceded by much fanfare that included a gala screening on Wednesday for distinguished local and international guests, in particular industry specialists. It marked the first time in more than 35 years that a commercial film was screened publicly in the Kingdom.

As part of Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reforms outlined in Vision 2030 and spearheaded by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Ministry of Culture and Information announced the landmark decision in December to allow commercial cinemas to operate in the Kingdom from this year.

Commenting on Friday’s public showing, Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Minister of Culture and Information, said, “Today is the first show for the public and the response has been overwhelming! This just goes to show how eager Saudis are to watch great films from around the world right here at home. They no longer have to travel outside the Kingdom to go to the movies.”

Plans call for opening about 350 cinemas representing 2,500 screens by 2030, generating an expected $1 billion in annual box office receipts and making the Kingdom the 11th largest theatrical exhibition market in the world. The growth of the exhibition sector is expected to create around 30,000 permanent jobs and some 130,000 temporary positions, by 2030.

 

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    By: KN Web Desk

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