Saudi Arabia to open 100 theaters by 2030
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., controlled by China’s Dalian Wanda, was granted the first cinema license in Saudi Arabia and plans to open 100 theaters with the country’s Public Investment Fund.
AMC, the world’s largest exhibitor, and the Development & Investment Entertainment Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s PIF, plan to open as many as 40 cinemas within five years and 60 more by 2030, according to a statement from the Leawood, Kansas-based company.
There are no commercial theaters in Saudi Arabia and plans to open them present challenges for the conservative kingdom, such as whether men and women can sit together and what types of movies will play, Bloomberg reported.
The announcement coincides with the US visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is looking to burnish his image as the leader of a more open Saudi economy.
Saudi culture minister Awwad Alawwad, in turn, said that the restoration of cinemas will help boost the local economy by increasing household spending on entertainment while supporting job creation.