By Innovation-sa on December 14, 2017 in News

As the 35-year-old ban on cinema comes to an end in Saudi Arabia, Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) teams up with US movie exhibition company AMC Entertainment Holdings to explore and invest in cinema business in the Kingdom.

AMC announced signing a deal with PIF to form a joint cinema venture, which was later confirmed by Saudi state media.

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC, stated “This announcement is a historic moment for the theatrical exhibition industry and a tremendous opportunity to connect AMC’s movie products with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s more than 30 million citizens, many of whom we know are movie fans based on their regular visits to cinemas in neighboring countries”.

With over 1,000 theaters and 11,000 screens worldwide, AMC is the biggest cinema operator in the world. Its screens are mainly concentrated in US and Europe, many functioning under the brand name Odeon.

Meanwhile, AMC will face tight competition from other prominent cinema chains. Dubai-based VOX Cinemas has already expressed its desire to open the first movie theater in Saudi Arabia and further expand its business in the Kingdom.

Movie theaters in the Kingdom are expected to start operations in March and the Kingdom expects to open over 300 cinemas with more than 2,000 screens by 2030.