UK Company, The Light Cinemas, in conjunction with The Big Picture, Is Awarded One of Few Operating Licenses in Saudi Arabia

(March 21, 2019) – 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.”

About The Big Picture
The Big Picture (formerly CinemaNext Consulting) is the foremost, specialist international management consultancy focused on the cinema industry, based in London.  Core activities include: Advising property organisations, investors, developers and cinema exhibitors in leisure developments, particularly where a cinema forms a key component, advice on locations, demographics and market potential, all aspects of marketing including brand creation and positioning, advice on acquisitions, disposals and property management, viability studies and market appraisals, financial appraisals, commercial strategy including pricing, screen advertising, advising on current and future best practice, cinema trends and product offers (VIP screens, IMAX, Boutique Cinemas etc.), cinema design and layouts, fit out procurement and project management, cinema and Leisure operational management function, procurement and supply arrangements

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