Empire Cinemas has opened its first multiplex in the port city of Jizan on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. The 10-screen, 728-seat facility was built at a cost of $11m and is said to have been equipped by a regional unit of CinemaNext.
Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Jizan Region, inaugurated the cinema at the city’s Al Rashid Mall.
The opening of the multiplex follows Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow companies to start operating cinemas in the Kingdom. Since the decision was made several firms have announced plans to invest into the entertainment sector in the Kingdom including AMC Entertainment, Vue International, VOX, Cinépolis and Empire Cinemas.
The announcement is also said to have generated interest within local groups in the country including Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven), the Al Rashed Empire Cinema Consortium and Cinemacity.
Al Rashed has announced plans to open as many as 30 cinemas in various cities around Saudi Arabia, while Seven intends to set up the first movie theatre in Al Khobar. The cinema is being developed in collaboration with AlOula Real Estate Development and is expected to open in the second quarter of 2020.