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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Number of cinema screens in Qatar to double by end of 2015

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For illustrative purposes only
For illustrative purposes only

The number of cinema screens inside multiplexes in Qatar is set to double by the end of this year, as new movie theaters are expected to open in four shopping malls by December.

There are currently 48 cinema screens operating inside of six theaters, but a total of 47 new multiplex screens are expected to launch in Qatar in the coming months.

The new Gulf Mall, next to Ezdan, is set to have a 13-screen multiplex cinema run by Bahrain Cinema Company (Cineco) by the fall, the company’s CEO chief executive Ahmed Rashed told Gulf Daily News last month.

While there is no official launch date yet for this mall, some stores, including the low-price clothing and home goods store Matalan, have already begun trading, with more set to follow soon.

Cineco also plans to finally open a three-screen cinema in Al Khor Mall as early as April, if the launch time of the “start of the second quarter of the year” works out.

In March last year, the company’s Chairman Dr. Essam Fakhro told shareholders at the annual general meeting that plans to launch the two new cinemas had suffered set-backs.

“Our new projects of 13 screens Cineplex in Gulf Mall and three screens Cineplex in Al Khor Mall, both in Qatar, are delayed because of the mall management,” Gulf Daily News quoted him as saying at the time.

Cineco currently operates 27 cinema screens in Qatar, including the movie theater at City Center Mall.

Twar Mall

The under-construction Twar Mall on Al Markhiya Street (down the road from Landmark Mall) will also have a 12-screen movie theater, including two VIP screens and a VIP lounge, when opens by the end of this year, its manager Raid Maddah told Doha News.

The cinema will be run by Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution Company, which also runs nine screens across three cinemas at Landmark Mall, Royal Plaza and The Mall, Gulf Times reports.

Twar Mall
Twar Mall rendering

Current progress on construction of Twar Mall makes the scheduled year-end launch date seem ambitious. But when the development does finally open its doors, the shopping center will also include a four-star Millennium Hotel and what will be Qatar’s first SPAR hypermarket.

The brand, which began in The Netherlands in the 1930s, has stores in 40 countries internationally and is embarking on an expansion throughout the Middle East, with 30 stores set to open by 2016, SPAR said in a statement on its website.

The QR1.8 billion Twar Mall will be three floors, with 265 stores as well as eating areas and entertainment, and two basement levels of parking for 2,600 cars.

Its features will include an oriental-themed rooftop garden, a 1,000-seater food court, a family entertainment center and an as-yet unnamed department store.

Mall of Qatar

Mall of Qatar rendering.
Mall of Qatar rendering.

Meanwhile, Mall of Qatar, on Dukhan Road near Al Rayyan stadium, is also eyeing an official opening date of the end of this year, although that deadline may be pushed back.

It will house a 19-screen cinema with a capacity for 3,000 viewers, and include an IMAX screen, six VIP screens and a 10-lane bowling alley, according to a statement released by the mall last year.

And the opening of Doha Festival City, currently set for late 2016, should further boost the movie theater provision in Qatar. Its 19-screen VOX cinema complex will bring to the country for the first time 4D features.

This will allow viewers to experience sensations as well as visuals – such as rain, fog, wind, bubbles, scents and vibrations – depending on what’s happening on-screen.

Movie demand

The increase in the number of movie theaters in Qatar appears to reflect a growing appetite among the population for cinema.

According to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics29th edition of Qatar in Figures which was released last month, the cinema audience in Qatar rose by 41 percent in the two years from 2011 to 2013, with 2.43 million visits to cinemas in 2013, compared to 1.59 million two years’ prior.

However, as the number of multiplex and top-price VIP rises, there remains very few affordable cinema seats in Qatar.

Gulf Cinema
Gulf Cinema

So far, only two cinemas  – Gulf Cinema and West End Park Cinema – which each have two screens each – provide a cheaper movie experience for the hundreds of thousands of low-income workers in Qatar. For a number of months, both were closed for renovations.

Gulf Cinema, Qatar’s oldest standalone movie theater, is located in Najma and closed with no notice in early 2013. The popular haunt was supposed to open by the middle of last year.

This week, operator QCFDC said it would reopen by fall this year after renovations, according to the Gulf Times.

Meanwhile, at least one screen at West End Park cinema reopened earlier this month after it was temporarily closed in January this year following a change of management. The other screen is expected to reopen soon, with two more to follow.

Thoughts?

Note: This article was edited on April 1 after we were advised by Doha Festival City that the number of cinema screens there will be 19, up from the original 15 planned.

22 COMMENTS

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AEC
AEC
6 years ago

But the length of each film will be halved.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

lol

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

How trashy are you to want to see the censored part (rhetorical question).

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

You sure are making some big assumptions there…

Nibras Najeeb
Nibras Najeeb
6 years ago

One more Cinema will open at Lagoona Mall end of the year.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Nibras Najeeb

01 Mall as well. But the “opening soon” sign could mean anytime between now and next century.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

SPAR. Nice!!!

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

Summer is coming!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Will everyone still talk through every movie and throw food everywhere?

Heisenberg
Heisenberg
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Yes indeed, and kids will be seen in a +18 movies as usual

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Heisenberg

Thankfully they will only see violence, swearing and gruesome deaths. Those naughty kisses have will have been removed.

Ray
Ray
6 years ago
Reply to  Heisenberg

I noticed that a lot, they don’t check who’s entering properly or allow kids in because they are accompanied by their parent WTF is wrong with their parents !!!

Elusive Snake
Elusive Snake
6 years ago
Reply to  Heisenberg

They even let infants inside the cinema! I remembered watching John Wick in Villaggio cinema and we were sitting beside a couple with an infant. Totally ludicrous!

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

Perfect! More big rooms to have movies ruined by people talking to other people, answering phones, sending/receiving messages, not putting their phone on vibrate, etc.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

You don’t have to go to a cinema to watch a movie. So, why bother?

interxavier
interxavier
6 years ago

Yeah, find access to a VPN network and Netflix!

jalong
jalong
6 years ago
Reply to  interxavier

Plus Slingbox, Amazon Prime, and torrents

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

You’re absolutely right. I went to the cinema two times when I first moved here years ago and haven’t been back since.

Phoe
Phoe
6 years ago

100 screens showing the same set of movies will change nothing, it really isn’t that hard to apply age restrictions and stop censoring movies (violence and blood totally fine but two people touching and we have to start butchering the movie).

Nothing beats my experience of trying to watch The Wolf of Wall Street in the cinema here two years ago, I think they had cut 50% of the movie.

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Are so many screens viable? Perhaps smaller capacity cinemas are required – during the week the theaters are running almost empty. Yes I did ended up watch more movies when I shifted to the ME – movies didn’t play any part of my life prior to that.

On another point, the labourers require a substitute for gulf cinema – tickets to be priced at QAR 15 or so. the Shell GTL project had their own movie theater in their camp. Atleast movies would be able to take them away from the reality of their life in Qatar.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Open some parks perhaps….

Nick Cowan
Nick Cowan
6 years ago

I miss the cinemas in Qatar, we used to go so often, it was such a good thing to do to get out of the weather!

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