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Saudi Arabia to launch first public cinema this week

Saudi Arabia to launch first public cinema this week

RIYADH: The roll-out of cinemas nationwide follows the Kingdom’s first movie festival, supported by the General Entertainment Authority, which was held in Jeddah in January, marking the lifting of a 35-year ban.

The Development and Investment Entertainment Company (DIEC) – subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – is licensed to operate the cinema, in collaboration with the US-based company AMC Entertainment.

Although the opening event is the first of a number of invitation-only screenings, the Riyadh cinema will be open to the public from May. Tickets are expected to become available later this month through an online ticketing system.

AMC plans to open up to 40 cinemas in 15 cities across Saudi Arabia in the coming five years. “The decision is part of Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reform programme under Vision 2030, spearheaded by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the Dalian Wanda-owned company said earlier this year.