How to get a movie ticket in Riyadh: Try early, try often

Film fans celebrate the end of Saudi Arabia’s 35-year ban on cinemas. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018
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How to get a movie ticket in Riyadh: Try early, try often

  • 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.”

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.”


National Day events to explore Saudi heritage, civilization

Updated 14 min 36 sec ago
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National Day events to explore Saudi heritage, civilization

  • General Authority for Culture (GAC) organizing folk festivals, music concerts, arts exhibitions, during the Kingdom's 88th National Day celebrations

JEDDAH: Poets, authors, artists and folk musicians are gearing up for a host of cultural events organized by the General Authority for Culture (GAC) to mark celebration of the 88th Saudi National Day around the Kingdom.

These activities, in which citizens and residents participate, include folk festivals, poetry evenings, music concerts, arts shows, film events, and interactive activities.

GAC has organized the “Adwaa wa Atyaf” (lights and spectra) event in Riyadh, which includes a range of activities such as falling green balloons, 3D visual shows, horse shows, sand painting shows, and many others.

The Culture Authority celebrates aviation in Riyadh by playing live national music for the passengers. It has also organized an arts exhibition in Riyadh and a pavilion for cultural heritage.

Between Sep. 19 and 27 a variety of cultural events will run in the provinces of Al-Kharj, Al-Majma’ah, Al-Aflaj, and Thadig, including theatrical performances, poetry evenings, poetry recital competitions, children-only events, women-only events, events for the Ensan Organization for orphans, and cultural seminars.

In Jeddah, GAC has organized the “Naghmet Watan,” a traditional Saudi music event, on Sep. 22. It aims to explore the evolution of the Saudi folklore as well as the Kingdom’s civilization and its heritage, cultural and artistic development through folk music concerts performed by emerging young singers.

In Tabuk, cultural events will take place between Sep. 23 and 25. The program includes a poetry evening, a folk night, and a contest for the best poem, picture, tweet, and article.

The “Lilwatan Maw’ed” (the day of the homeland) event will be held in Al-Ahsa between Sep. 23 and 27. It includes a performance of the Saudi traditional Ardha dance, cultural seminars, and a show about the founder of Saudi Arabia, the late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

GAC has organized the “Ya Dar Nestahlak” (we deserve our homeland) event to be held in Buraidah on Sep. 24. This event includes performances by a folk arts band, a photography exhibition, theatrical performances, poetry evenings, and cultural seminars.

In Taif on Sep. 25, the Omsiyat Watan or Saudi evening event will be held, accompanied by a lecture about Taif, an art exhibition, and live poetry recitals.

The Laylat Aflam or movie night event is to be held in Jizan. It will feature the national film “Joud,” which discusses the status of the Kingdom in the Islamic world as well as its cultural and heritage status.

GAC has organized the “Qalo Aan Al-Watan” (they said about Saudi) event in Najran for poets and authors. The event also features a documentary film.

In Al-Jawf, the “Ihtifaliyat Watan” to be held between Sep. 23 and 25 will include poetry and writing competition as well as interactive activities for children.