Imax, Vox Cinemas Unveil Multi-Theater Deal for Saudi Arabia

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The giant screen exhibitor is set to have four commercial screens after a 35-year cinema ban was lifted.

Imax and Dubai-based VOX Cinemas on Tuesday unveiled a four-theater deal to become Saudi Arabia's second cinema chain after AMC. 

Following the kingdom's lifting of a 35-year cinema ban, Imax recently launched its first commercial theater with VOX Cinemas in Riyadh Park, with Avengers: Infinity War the first movie to play on its big screen. Imax and VOX have now inked a sales deal that will see the partners open at least four commercial theaters in Saudi Arabia.

VOX, which is set to open 600 screens in the Middle Eastern kingdom over five years, is already committed to opening additional Imax theaters in two malls, City Centre Ishbiliyah and Mall of Saudi. The VOX deal brings Imax's screen count in Saudi Arabia to five as it already operates an institutional dome theater at the Sultan Bin Abdul Science Center in Al-Khobar, which opened in 2005.

Imax is also talking with AMC about opening additional Imax screens in its Saudi Arabian locations after the U.S. exhibitor opened the kingdom's first movie theater in Riyadh's King Abdullah Financial District on April 18. Imax has already expanded elsewhere the Middle East, as VOX has Imax locations in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, City Centre Qurum in Oman, City Centre Bahrain in Bahrain and City Centre Beirut in Lebanon.

Toronto-based Imax opened its first institutional theater in the Middle East in 2000 at the Scientific Centre of Kuwait, and today has a total of 32 contracted theaters in the region.