The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and AMC expect to open 30-40 cinemas in approximately 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.
AMC Entertainment has been granted the first license to operate cinemas, with Saudi state media reporting the US giant is expected to open 40 cinemas across 15 Saudi cities over the next five years.
The first theatre will be opened in the capital, Riyadh, said authorities.
“AMC plans to open the kingdom’s first cinema theatre in Riyadh on April 18,” the information ministry’s Center for International Communication said in a statement.
The news comes after AMC Entertainment signed a non-binding agreement in December with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to build and operate cinemas across the Kingdom.
“The granting of the first license marks the opening of very significant opportunities for exhibitors,” Information Minister Awwad Alawwad was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) had earlier announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Development and Investment Entertainment Company has signed an agreement with AMC to operate AMC Cinemas in the kingdom.
Development and Investment Entertainment Company jointly with AMC expects to open 30-40 cinemas in approximately 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and a total of 50-100 cinemas in approximately 25 Saudi cities by 2030.
AMC is the worlds largest provider and operator of movie theaters. A key objective of Vision 2030 is to grow the entertainment sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the cinema industry is expected to grow to around $1 billion in size over the coming years.
Development and Investment Entertainment Company was fully incorporated early this year to play an active investment role in various areas of the entertainment sector, and seek to attract strategic partnerships to build the eco-system within the Kingdom.
The agreement builds on the announcement of the General Commission for Audiovisual Medias (GCAM) decision to grant domestic licenses to cinema providers, and directly supports the Vision 2030 objective of growing household spending on entertainment from 2.9% to 6% of GDP.
This follows from the decision last year by the government to lift the ban on cinemas after 35 years.