Luxury Movie Theater Chain iPic Unveils Plans to Enter Saudi Arabia

Courtesy of IPIC ENTERTAINMENT
Seats in an iPic theater

The company joins a bustling lineup of theater chains unveiling plans to enter the kingdom since it lifted its 35-year ban on public cinemas.

Upmarket restaurant and movie theater chain iPic Entertainment has signed a deal to launch in Saudi Arabia, joining a growing array of entertainment companies planning to enter the country since it lifted its 35-year ban on cinemas in December.

In a memorandum of understanding, iPic has formed a partnership with Saudi group BAS Global Investment Company to develop locations across the country. 

"We are thrilled to be working with BAS Global, which we believe will be excellent local partners to lead growth of the iPic brand throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said Hamid Hashemi, iPic founder and CEO.

"We are excited to bring our first-class entertainment experience to the region and be a part of the country’s Saudi Vision 2030 Plan, which focuses on job creation and transforming the economy toward more recreation and tourism spending."

iPic says it's planning to include one of its three restaurant concepts — The Tuck Room, Tanzy, and City Perch — in each of its Saudi locations.

Last month, both Cinescape — the exhibition arm of Middle East distributors Front Row Filmed Entertainment and the Kuwait National Film Company — and European operator Vue unveiled plans to enter the Saudi market, while AMC revealed it had signed an agreement on Dec 11, the same day the kingdom announced it was lifting the ban on cinemas.