RIYADH: Ever since movie theaters opened in Riyadh in April — bringing an end to the Kingdom’s 35-year ban on public screenings — cinema fans have been scrambling to get to the movies.
Tickets have been regularly selling out online to movies at the only two theaters in Riyadh: AMC in King Abdullah District and VOX in Riyadh Park Mall.
“I couldn’t seem to book tickets,” said Latifa Al-Dossary, a university student. “They’re always sold out or the timings available are usually early morning. But after trying many times — excessively, obsessively — I made it my mission to get myself and my friends tickets and I succeeded, finally.”
Mona Khalid, a physician at a government hospital, has also had a hard time finding a time to take her family to the movies. “VOX sells tickets for the upcoming three days. I found out after many failed attempts at buying tickets, that early mornings are usually open and the best time to go with the kids,” she said.
There are also limits to how many tickets filmgoers can buy. At AMC, the maximum number of tickets in one booking is limited to six. However, VOX offers a maximum of 10 tickets per booking.
VOX plans to open 600 screens in the Kingdom over the next five years. But until then, it’s a case of “first come, first served.”