The government anticipates that more than 350 cinemas with an excess of 2,500 screens, will open by 2030.
Saudi Arabia has approved licensing regulations for cinemas, allowing for companies to apply and start operating in the kingdom, after Riyadh lifted a 35-year-old ban on cinemas in December 2017.
Under the chairmanship of Minister of Culture and Information and Chairman of the Board of Directors of General Commission for Audiovisual Media, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, the Board has approved regulations on licensing cinemas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The regulations take into consideration, as per the release, the best international practices of regulations governing cinemas in a number of international markets.
The regulations identified three types of licences governing the establishing of a cinema, the licence to practice the operation of cinemas and the licence to operate a cinema in both types, fixed and temporary.
Minister Dr. Al-Awwad stressed that the cinema sector will contribute to achieving the objectives of economic diversification, opening the door to a local market comprising 30 million people, and providing new job opportunities for citizens. The General Commission for Audiovisual Media, which regulates the sector, said in a statement that it anticipates more than 350 cinemas with an excess of 2,500 screens, will open by 2030.
Awwad Alawwad, the culture and information minister, said the government envisaged Saudi families doubling their spending on cultural and recreational activities from 2.9% to 6% of their income by 2030 as a result of the reforms.
As reported by BroadcastPro ME, US-based AMC Entertainment, one of the worlds largest providers and operators of movie theatres, has signed a provisional agreement with the Public Investment Fund, the kingdoms sovereign wealth fund. Last month, British operator Vue International said that it plans to build up to 30 multiplexes in Saudi Arabia in partnership with Abdulmohsin Al Hokair Holding, a Saudi real estate group. Similar announcements were also made by companies from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.