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Saudi Arabia Announces Reopening of Movie Theaters

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Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) announced the reopening of cinema theatres.

The commission has published a set of guidelines to be followed by all cinema operators in Saudi Arabia while resuming cinema activities.

The guidelines stipulate that all cinema theaters in the Kingdom shall lay floor stickers or clear signs of spaces to ensure 1.5 to 2 meters of social distancing in waiting areas such as entrances, outlets for selling tickets, and food and beverages, and toilets.

Chairs and seating areas will be arranged in a way that ensures the required social distancing by leaving two seats empty between two viewers in all directions. Families can sit together while keeping a distance of at least two meters between each one of them.

The commission urged customers to purchase tickets from websites and apps designated for reservation. The guidelines also include facilitating the smooth entry and exit of customers by avoiding crowding at ticket counters, and making available of hand sanitizers in conformity with specifications, and placing them in prominent places easily accessible to all visitors.

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There are also guidelines not to use ticket-specific touch devices and all printed copies and magazines, in addition to strictly adhering to protocols for open entertainment spaces that are to be applied to open-air cinemas.

The protocols for the cinema staff include least personal contact with the customers, wearing masks and gloves when dealing with them, and adhering to social distancing during selling of tickets or food and drinks, and on other occasions in addition to preventing anyone who does not wear masks from entering the premises.

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The commission emphasized that in the event of reporting any confirmed coronavirus cases among the staff, theaters must be closed and show will be suspended until all the premises are cleansed, sterilized and well ventilated so as to ensure that there is no source of infection apart from screening and isolating other workers.


The guidelines also instruct that the time of advertisements that precede the film screening will be used to make aware of customers about the disease, and that must include a demonstration about the procedures of safe exit and entry to prevent crowding in the premises, and distribute awareness publications preferably electronic or printed behind tickets, written in various languages and a billboard detailing wrong practices and violations, and how to report them to the authorities.


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