Officially announced earlier this
month, The Light Cinemas, in partnership with The Big Picture Cinema
Consultancy (formerly CinemaNext Consulting), have been awarded one of only a
handful of highly-coveted operating licenses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This comes after the thirty-five year ban on cinemas was recently lifted in
Saudi Arabia in December 2017 in a bid to reduce the conservatism for which the
Kingdom is known, and to develop their cultural sector. The announcement sees the unveiling of the
new cinema brand in the Kingdom, MUVI, which has fifteen sites already at a
combination of design, planning and consultancy stages.
Teaming up with Saudi fashion
retail giants, Fawaz Alkohair Group (FAHG), The Light Cinemas, known as The
Light, and The Big Picture are integrating MUVI cinemas into the FAHG’s Arabian
Centres Malls in locations across the region, including Riyadh, Jeddah and
Dammam. MUVI will provide its audiences with a range of options for a night
out, from Luxury VIP packages with fine dining, to children’s screens complete
with in-screen play areas, to Screen X immersive wraparound viewing.
Majed Bahaffi of FAHG, comments, “We
have made history with The Light Cinemas by launching Saudi Arabia’s first home
grown brand, MUVI cinemas, and we look forward to many fruitful years ahead
working with The Light Cinemas team.”
The Light, founded by business
partners John Sullivan and Keith Pullinger, has been recognised by the Saudi
government as a fast-growing, successful cinema brand, currently with ten UK
sites but with five more in the pipeline to open over the next three years. The
cinema company was subjected to thorough checks, to validate their suitability
of launching and developing the new brand.
Sullivan and Pullinger bring with
them over fifty years of combined experience to the new development and are
also founding partners of The Big Picture, the London-based, cinema-focussed,
specialist international management consultancy. Senior consultants John
Sullivan, Rob Arthur and Mike Thomson bring with them global operational
expertise, having all worked in senior roles in the cinema space for big names
including Warner Village / CGV Cinemas (Sullivan), Apollo / Vue / Curzon
Cinemas (Arthur) and Virgin / UGC / Cineworld Cinemas (Thomson).
Sullivan says of The Light’s
partnership with The Big Picture, “The team at The Big Picture provide high
level cinema advice and procedures that allow us to ensure global best practice
on all phases of development for MUVI cinemas”.
Mike Thomson, senior consultant
and partner at The Big Picture, adds, “We’re delighted to be working with The
Light Cinemas and FAHG. Providing expert advice across all aspects of the first
cinema development, we will continue to work with MUVI during its rapid
rollout, establishing world class cinemas with a local touch.”