416-seat cinema set to open in Jubail in EP

A Saudi movie viewer has her temperature taken as she wears a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, at VOX Cinema hall in Jeddah. (File photo: AP)

First cinema is set to open in Jubail in the Eastern Province, the Kingdom’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) has said.

The new cinema hall will be at Al-Jubail Mall with five screens and a capacity to hold 416 seats; according to local media reports.

Saudi Arabia’s first cinema hall was firstly open for the public in Riyadh in April 2018. It had announced plans to open 40 cinemas in 15 Saudi cities over five years. This comes as part of the strategy to develop the entertainment sector in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia also re-opened cinema theaters in June as the “return to normalcy” stage of the Kingdom’s re-opening plan after the coronavirus pandemic came into effect. It, however, implemented strict coronavirus protocols, according to GCAM.

“Having established VOX Cinemas in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam; we are excited to expand our footprint in Tabuk, Hail and Jubail later this year. We remain greatly appreciative of the ongoing support and guidance given to us by the Ministry of Media; GCAM; and the Quality of Life Program,” said Mohamed Al-Hashemi, country head of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures.

There are plans of investing $64bn in the Saudi entertainment sector over the next 10 years. In addition to allowing women to attend concerts and setting up 5,000 recreational events in 2018.