Novo Cinemas to open 19 theatres across GCC by 2020: CEO

Largest cinema operator in the Middle East plans to have over 200 screens by 2020, up from current 158
Novo Cinemas CEO Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen
ITP Images
Novo Cinemas CEO Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen


Novo Cinemas plans to add at least 19 more cinemas across the Gulf over the next two years, the company's CEO has said.

The Middle East's largest cinema operator currently has 158 screens across the region and plans to grow that number to over 200 by 2020.

"We’re growing with a steep expansion plan for the GCC and international markets over the next decade. CEO Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen told CEO Middle East in an interview.

"As of now, we can confirm 19 locations across the GCC by 2020. The new locations will be announced "throughout the region including in the UAE, Oman and KSA" and will continue to cater to audience demand for alternative content, added Standford-Kristiansen.

"Each of these locations will be tailored to their unique cultural environment... the team are constantly looking for interesting, trending, delicious and entertaining concepts to add value to the consumers ‘experience," she said.

Novo Cinemas was the first to introduce IMAX technology to the UAE at its Ibn Battuta Mall location, the first to launch a dedicated smartphone app and led the way with a pre-ordering service for its à la carte menu.

In a sign of the growing reputation for high-end cinema experiences, Stanford-Kristiansen has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Council of CTC, the global cinema technology network.

Richard Mitchell of Harkness Screens, President of CTC stated, “The newly created advisory council brings an additional wealth of knowledge and experience from some of the most respected global thought-leaders in our industry to our already highly skilled team of governors. Adding this additional level of expertise will help our team to create deliverables that will shape a better future for cinema and drive better outcomes from technology investments that affect the entire moviegoing experience, not just inside the auditorium.”

Stanford-Kristiansen said “I am honoured to be a part of the advisory council. It’s important to continue to innovate and introduce exciting ideas and new ways to have cinematic experiences. It’s all about being up-to-date with technology in order to provide viewers new ways to view movies and cinema.”

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