ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Coming soon to Saudi malls -- Wanda controlled cinemas

End of 35-year ban could be worth $24bn and AMC swoops in for the opening act

A billboard featuring Hollywood star John Travolta is displayed in Riyadh.   © Reuters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Saudi citizens will soon be able to go to the movies without crossing a national border, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes up the kingdom's economy and society. And the end of a 35-year ban on cinemas has already produced a high-powered partnership: between U.S.-based, Chinese-owned theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings and a sovereign wealth fund Riyadh wants to develop into the world's largest.

By 2030, the Saudi government anticipates there will be 200 movie theaters in the country, with 2,000 screens; the first could open this March. Today, there are no commercial cinemas in the kingdom.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more