JEDDAH: Empire Cinemas, the Middle East’s first home-grown cinema brand, has opened its third venue in Saudi Arabia. The launch of the 18-screen multiplex, at Al-Andalus Mall in Jeddah, was marked by a special screening of the superhero sequel “Wonder Woman 1984.”
The venue includes a number of innovations, including the region’s first example of CinemaNext’s Sphera premium-cinema concept. The 142-seat auditorium is fitted with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, including Flexound Augmented Audio.
Other screens offer offers Dolby Atmos technology, and two of Empire Cinemas’ signature concepts: Minis, which includes a private play area and special concessions and entertainment for little ones; and Empire Premiere, which offers discerning movie lovers a more luxurious cinema experience, including a private lounge in which customers can enjoy serviced dining before watching the film while relaxing in lavish, reclining seats.
“We have a high standard for comfort, design and innovation,” said Gino Haddad, the chain’s CEO. “Empire Cinemas is proud to be the first cinema operator in the region to have installed CinemaNext’s Sphera, with its innovative ambient LED wall system, as well as augmented audio technology seats through its association with Flexound Augmented Audio.”
Empire Cinemas opened its first Saudi venue in Jazan in December 2019, followed by a second in Abha last month.
“We plan to expand up to 15 locations (in the Kingdom) within the next three to four years,” said Haddad.
The history of Empire Cinemas can be traced back more than 100 years to the opening of a cinema in Beirut in 1919.