While the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) is mapping out the rules and regulations for reopening cinemas, The Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC) and Front Row Filmed Entertainment’s exhibition arm CINESCAPE CINEMAS is in final negotiations to launch a first phase of 27 screens by the 4th quarter of 2018 across strategic locations in the three most prominent Saudi cities: Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
While the first phase is being finalized, KNCC are also in deep negotiations with high profile real estate entities to secure additional multiplexes as well as stand-alone cinemas across the country in accordance with the 2030 Saudi vision. KNCC and its holding company Tamdeen Group, whose state-of-the-art designs have won multiple global awards including 2017’s International Council of Shopping Centers Award, will deliver on this excellent standard in developing across the new Saudi market.
Tamdeen (and its subsidiary KNCC), which was recently named as one of the 50 most powerful companies in Kuwait by Forbes, operates several malls, two of which are Kuwait’s largest, along with various banks, hotels and investment firms. Tamdeen hopes to capture more of the cinema build on the historical relationship between Kuwait and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as both countries have a cultural and geographical heritage that links them inextricably in the region. The Kuwait National Cinema Company was the first entertainment entity to launch in the gulf region in 1954. They are the largest in Kuwait with 91% share of the theatrical market. KNCC’s history and close cultural ties with Saudi Arabia are key reasons for the kingdom’s consistent approaches by high profile estate groups and Royal establishments to enter into partnership. The two nations share core values and principles which can encourage a smooth transition into the new and dynamic market.
KNCC’s Hisham Al Ghanim expanded on the close ties with Saudi Arabia in relation to cinema - “There is a high influx of Saudi audiences that flock to Kuwait to experience the cinema here because of the films we are able to show and the high standards of the sites themselves, so we have a keen understanding and appreciation of their tastes and habits that will translate automatically to the cinemas we have secured so far, and the expansion thereafter. This has been long in the making as we have traveled to and from the kingdom to explore the development of cinemas. We expect to open a total 12 multiplexes in the next 36 month period.”
Gianluca Chakra of Front Row chimes in: “Along with these distribution lines, there is a potential to grow once the lay of the land has settled. Front Row’s outside-the-box exhibition and distribution model can only help enhance the Saudi expansion. Added to that, the strong Egyptian catalogue and the burgeoning market of original content development we are closely working on together and you will find that there is substantial potential for growth in the KSA.”