Riyadh to have first cinema theater on April 18

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Saudi Gazette report

LOS ANGELES/RIYADH
— The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information granted on Wednesday the first license to AMC to operate a cinema theater.

AMC Entertainment Holdings will open first theater in Riyadh on April 18 and up to 40 theatres over the next five years.

Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad said the license will provide important investment opportunities for operating cinema theaters. He said that the Saudi market is large and the majority of the Kingdom’s population is under 30 years of age. They are eager to watch their favorite movies in their 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 theaters 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.

It is expected that the Kingdom, whose population exceeds 32 million, the majority of whom are under 30 years of age, would form the largest market for cinema industry in the region.

It is expected that about 350 movie theaters with over 2500 screens will be opened by the advent of 2030.

Adam Aaron, chairman and CEO of AMC Entertainment Holdings, said: “ We feel greater enthusiasm due to the warm welcome we have been accorded by the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi companies, institutions and individuals, with whom we communicated.”

He said his company is looking forward to providing recreational services that will enable all to spend an enjoyable time in world standard movie theaters in different parts of the Kingdom.

AMC's entry into the Saudi market is in partnership with PIF through the Recreation Development and Investment Company, fully-owned by PIF.

The step to allow cinema theaters to function in the Kingdom will open a local market with annual ticket sales reaching US$1 billion.


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