VOX to open multiplex in Riyadh soon

VOX to open multiplex in Riyadh soon

"Today is the first show for the public and the response has been overwhelming", Dr Awwad Al Awwad, the Minister of Culture and Information was quoted by the Centre for International Communication (CIC) as saying on Friday.

Awwad Al-Awwad, opened the first cinema screening in Saudi Arabia on Thursday evening, operated by the world's largest cinema operator and developer AMC Theatres, after almost 35 years of complete cinema shutdown in the kingdom. "They no longer have to travel outside the Kingdom to go to the movies". "Welcome to the era when movies can be watched by Saudis not in Bahrain, not in Dubai, not in London but inside the kingdom".

With the dashing return of cinema to Saudi Arabia, AMC Cinemas has announced a partnership with Noon.com to sell tickets online for initial screenings of "Black Panther", the Marvel Studios production of the immensely popular comic book that marks the return theaters to the Kingdom on April 20.

While addressing the audience of government officials and industry figures as Adam Aron stood before a large screen in a converted concert hall before the screening of Black Panther, he said, "This is a historic day for AMC". Promised reforms include allowing Saudi women to drive, the continued showing of movies subject to government approval, and allowing men and women to attend fashion shows.

The deeply conservative Muslim kingdom is ending a almost 40-year ban on commercial cinemas, which were shuttered in the early 1980s under pressure from Islamists but are returning through a modernising drive by the reform-minded crown prince.

The invitation-only gala event comes after the conservative kingdom lifted the ban on cinemas a year ago as part of a far-reaching liberalisation drive, with United States giant AMC Entertainment granted the first licence to operate movie theatres.

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He said plans were afoot for three more screens in the coming months. It said it expects the first venue to open later this year.

The Saudi government projects that the opening of movie theaters will contribute more than $24 billion to the economy and create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030. "VOX Cinemas will join a growing stable of Majid Al Futtaim's leading retail, leisure and entertainment brands operating across the Kingdom". In recent years, the country has also hosted local film festivals and screenings in makeshift theaters.

Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi writer, describes the theaters of the 1970s as being "like American drive-ins, except much more informal". The country's rules about gender segregation typically split customers into a men-only section and a "family" section reserved for women and their male relatives.

AMC said men and women would be able to sit together at the gala screening.

The new movie theater also came equipped with prayer rooms to accommodate the daily Muslim prayer times.

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