Last week, Saudi Arabia made history by opening its first ever public cinema after a 35-year ban. The movie theater, situated in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, welcomed hundreds of movie-goers to the screening of Marvel’s Black Panther. Now, less than two weeks later, the kingdom has welcomed its second cinema, a Vox Cinemas four-screen multiplex in the capital city. The first screening? Avengers: Infinity War, naturally.
The new theater is located at an entertainment complex in Riyadh Park, and marks another in a series of important milestones for the Saudi economy under crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan to reform the Saudi culture. The launch was held in the presence of the Minister of Culture and Information, Dr Awwad Alawwad. “It is great to have the second cinema open in the Kingdom within a span of less than two weeks. This is just one example that shows the fast pace of development in the Kingdom,” Alawwad was quoted as saying about the launch of Dubai’s Vox Cinemas in Saudi Arabia.
Vox Cinemas rivals AMC Theatres, the largest theater chain in the United States, and the first to secure a cinema operating license from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information earlier this year. Vox Cinemas is currently the largest cinema operator in the Middle East and North Africa.
According to reports, Vox Cinemas aims to launch 600 screens across the conservative Gulf country. Popcorn at the ready.