First Art House Cinema Opens in Saudi Arabia, Screens '2001: A Space Odyssey'
The first art house cinema opened in Saudi Arabia last night to a capacity crowd of 75 people eager to watch Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece epic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.
The open-air Elhoush Cinema, in the coastal city of Jeddah, is the passion project of Saudi director Mahmoud Sabbagh. Sabbagh is the filmmaker behind the Berlinale-screening comedy ‘Barakah Meets Barakah’ and last year's ‘Amra and the Second Marriage’. Sabbagh is also the director and CEO of the recently announced Red Sea Film Festival, which is set to have its inaugural edition in Jeddah in 2020.
Elhoush is a pop-up theater in Jeddah's old town. It is named after Sabbagh's own Elhoush production company. The filmmaker said he wanted to pay homage to the city's old outdoor courtyard cinemas ("housh" means "courtyard" in Arabic) that were open prior to 1978.
Following ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, which will be screened one more time, Elhoush will be screening Hirokazu Kore-eda's 2018 Palme d'Or-winning ‘Shoplifters’—our favorite foreign film from last year.