JEDDAH: The Red Sea Mall will host the first cinema to open in Jeddah following the decision in December 2017 by the General Authority for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) to reopen cinemas in the Kingdom.
“We are expecting the opening to be by the end of this year,” said Mohammed Al-Asiri, the mall’s marketing manager.
He added that the cinema, operated by regional company Vox, occupies an 8,000-square-meter space and will have 1,472 seats in 12 halls, including standard and VIP halls, an IMAX screen, a 4DX auditorium with motion-controlled seats, and halls for children.
“There will also be special seats for people with special needs,” said Al-Asiri. “The standard halls will contain 165 or 130 seats, there will be 48 seats in each of the golden (VIP) halls, the IMAX hall will have up to 280 seats, the 4DX hall will have 62 seats, and there will be 66 seats in each of the halls allocated for children.
“The IMAX screen is about 13 meters long and is 24 meters tall, which is equivalent to 10 regular displays, according to experts. This technology has the ability to film and display movies with greater size and accuracy than any traditional film system.”
Ticket prices, Al-Asiri said, will be set according to rules and regulations set by the relevant authorities. “Tickets will be sold both online and on site, with the option to select desired seats,” he added.
Regarding the choice of movies to screen, he said: “There is certainly no specific quality but the focus will be on family movies in general.” He added that the chosen films will reflect community values in the Kingdom and the tastes of all age groups.
The cinema is part of an expansion at the mall that includes other entertainment facilities and a large number of restaurants and coffee shops. A source in the mall said that Gate No. 9, overlooking King Abdul Aziz Road, will be named the “Entertainment Gate” as it will be the main entrance for the cinema.
Al-Asiri said that the mall had signed an agreement with Vox, a Majid Al Futtaim company, which he described as one of the region’s leading cinema operators.
“Vox cinema will invest SR2 billion ($530 million) in the (Saudi) cinema industry to develop up to 600 screens, and will provide 3,000 job opportunities over the next five years to contribute to achieving a goal of Vision 2030 to diversify the local economy and output,” he added.