Havelock One, a Bahrain-headquartered interior fit-out contractor, has just completed work on its fifth cineplex for Empire Cinemas, a leading Lebanese brand which is looking at adding around 14 such facilities in the emerging Saudi entertainment sector in the next three to four years.
The cineplex, conceptualised by Empire’s design partner, DNA Architects & Planners, aims to offer a unique movie-going experience in the Othaim Mall, Rabwa in eastern Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Havelock One was responsible for the turnkey fit-out and custom manufacturing works for Empire Cinemas Rabwa which has 10 screens, 1,254 seats and covers an area of 4,785 sq m.
“Empire Cinemas Rabwa is the fifth cineplex we’ve completed, adding to our partnership with the iconic 100-year-old brand. As the Empire Cinemas continue to expand their reach, they have made a commitment to bringing state-of-the-art technology and diverse, immersive experiences to moviegoers,” says a spokeswoman for Havelock One.
Empire Cinemas entered the Saudi market in 2019, with its first venue having been a 10-screen, 728-seat multiplex at Al Rashed Mall in Jizan.
The Rabwa cineplex offers a shift in dimensions for its guests. The public area facing the concession is a static space, whereas, after crossing the gates, customers get to experience a dramatic transition to another dynamic “dimension”. The cinema’s interiors create an illusion of heading towards a main focal element, the bridge, which connects the lower and upper levels. This focal point diagonally axes a rectangular void, offering a dreamy dimension by playing with the experience of gravity and space, says the spokeswoman.
The theatre entrance portal is awe-inspiring with a modern, abstract impression and the illuminations used for the space create an inviting and futuristic look, the spokeswoman says adding that the facility includes colourful kids’ play area.
“The presence of an Imax theatre further enhances the cinema’s technological capabilities, offering a larger-than-life movie experience with stunning visuals and powerful sound. The upper floor houses the Screen X Theater, which boasts a unique set-up. This innovative technology surrounds the audience with screens on the sides, providing an immersive and captivating viewing experience,” she adds.
Havelock One’s expertise was evident in crafting all areas, including the vibrant and colourful kids’ play area.
“From the curved lighting to the wooden cladding, all joinery elements were meticulously manufactured in our Bahrain factory and installed on-site by our skilled fit-out team,” the spokeswoman points out.
Havelock One’s scope of works covered structural and non-structural metal works, thermal and moisture protection, MEP works including theatre management system (TMS), finishes, and joinery works.
Highlighting how the company tackled some of the challenges on the project, she says: “Our Saudi-based fit-out team had to implement a well-structured project management approach to complete the project on time and to the highest quality standards. The ultimate goal was to achieve client satisfaction. Meeting and exceeding the client’s expectations in terms of design incorporation, functionality, and overall cinema experience was crucial for the success of the project.”
“We ensured the design, materials, and workmanship met the required standards. This called for constant attention to detail and strict quality control for the entire scope of work,” she concludes.