iPic Luxury Movie Chain to Move Into Saudi Arabia

The luxury movie chain iPic Entertainment has signed an agreement to bring its theater-and-restaurant locations to Saudi Arabia.

The company announced Thursday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop its locations throughout the kingdom and formed a partnership with the Saudi group BAS Global Investments Company. It noted that the agreement comes three months after Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow movie theaters to open for the first time in more than 35 years.

“With roughly two-thirds of the local population under 30 years of age, the country’s demographics play into iPic’s strength as a social entertainment destination that is also an affordable luxury,” the company said. “Through this partnership, the company believes there are significant expansion opportunities for the iPic brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over time.”

On Feb. 1, iPic went public with a $15.1 million initial public offering. The 10-year-old company, which operates 16 locations with 121 screens, said at that point that funds would help the company execute on the significant growth opportunities ahead to open new iPic locations. The company operates in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

“We are thrilled to be working with BAS Global which we believe will be excellent local partners to lead growth of the iPic brand throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” says Hamid Hashemi, founder and chief executive officer. “We are excited to bring our first-class entertainment experience to the region and be a part of the country’s Saudi Vision 2030 Plan which focuses on job creation and transforming the economy toward more recreation and tourism spending.”

The chain operates auditioriums with 50 to 90 seats and each locations containing three restaurant concepts – The Tuck Room, Tanzy, and City Perch. Hashemi told Variety that he’s expecting quick expansion.

“We see potential of 25 to 30 locations in Saudi Arabia over the next five years,” he said. “Given our commitment and presence in the area we will certainly be looking to expand our presence in the region further.”

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