All photos by Elysia Windrum
The Pearl-Qatar is set to open its first cinema on Monday morning, July 28, just in time for Eid al-Fitr, staff at the building told Doha News on Thursday.
The $10 million standalone movie theater complex has 12 screens, including Qatar’s second IMAX screen (after Villaggio mall’s cinema) and a VIP theater.
Originally slated to open in 2012, the complex, which is operated by Novo Cinemas, has seen a series of delays since then.
For the past few months, representatives from Gulf Film have promised an imminent opening. But it’s possible that the complex, which is next to the new, recently opened Spinney’s grocery store in Medina Centrale, faced the same difficulties as its neighbor in getting Civil Defense approvals.
According to a manager at the Pearl complex, the all-clear signal was given only recently. Speaking to Doha News, he said:
“Things are crazy at the moment. We were only told last Friday that the cinema needs to be ready to open on 28th. Everyone is rushing around to get the work done. Before then we had no choice but to just sit on everything.”
Like the rest of the country’s cinemas, the Pearl’s movie theater plans to air movies in a variety of languages. Staff working at the tickets booths there said the cinema would open around 9am on Monday morning, and that theater listings would soon be posted online on its website and Facebook page.
“Everything you see in this cinema is the same quality as all of our Novo Cinemas. Everything from the private VIP lounges down to the food and beverage, is of the same standard,” the manager said.
The Pearl is Novo Cinemas’ fifteenth location and is the first to be established in Qatar. The new cinema is part of a partnership between IMAX Corp. and Gulf Film, which has previously announced that three new IMAX theaters would be built across the Gulf.
In 2012, Doha-based Q.media acquired Gulf Films, and has announced plans to open dozens more theaters in Qatar over the next three years. That includes a site in Al Khor and a huge cinema complex in the northern part of the country.
Do you plan to visit the new cinema this Eid? Thoughts?