Cinepolis for web
Alejandro Aguilera, CEO, Cinépolis Cinemas Image Credit: Supplied

Please share a bit of brand history.

Cinépolis Cinemas is a Mexican company that was founded in the city of Morelia, Michoacán, in 1971. Today, it has positioned itself as a leader in the film and entertainment industry in Mexico and Latin America: it’s the world’s third-largest movie theatre circuit; the second largest in terms of attendance; the first in terms of attendance per-auditorium, and is the world’s largest luxury cinemas exhibitor.

With 871 cinemas in total across 18 countries worldwide, Cinépolis Cinemas operates 6,728 digital screens. It also employs a global workforce of more than 28,000 people across a variety of roles. Cinépolis Cinemas has introduced innovative concepts to the exhibition industry, such as the first multiplexes (Multicinemas), the first concept of a luxury cinema (Cinépolis VIP), the partnership with IMAX turned into Cinépolis IMAX, Macro XE screens, 4DX screens, and Sala Junior screen.

In the Gulf region, we opened our first theatre in Bahrain in January 2019, followed by four theatres in Oman, in May, September, November, and December of the same year.

For more information about Cinépolis Cinemas, please visit

The entertainment industry, specifically the multiplex sector was badly hit by the pandemic globally in lieu of the lockdown in 2020. What have been the local ramifications, and how did Cinépolis Cinemas cope with related Covid-19 issues affecting its staff and the business in general?

We believe in the strong team we are, and the impact that has on keeping operations moving and keeping our staff and customers healthy and safe as a top priority.

Obviously, we are not averse to the wider effects that the current situation has on the market and may need to react accordingly. However, we are continuously working to make cinemas a safe space for our customers and staff.

That being said, we are extremely optimistic about the future given the line-up of movies set to be released and the new hope that vaccines have brought to the world.

Theatres are now open for business, what are the safety measures that Cinépolis Cinemas has in place to ensure the safety of its valued customers?

Considering movies are starting to be released, we are compliant with the local authorities and regulations. As such, we have reduced our screen capacity in order to maintain safe distances throughout our cinemas and introduced a stringent sanitisation process across the board. Minimising touchpoints is also another initiative to add an extra layer of protection, and prior to opening, we updated our website and application to ensure a smooth, contact-free experience. In addition, our kiosks across all of our locations are no longer being utilised for ticket sales/collection but are being utilised to display the safety measures we are taking in addition to the offers we are introducing.

Finally, we have temporarily closed the massive slide, ball pit, and play area in our Junior Auditorium, our customers are welcome to enjoy the comfortable seating and fun look and feel.

What are the ongoing offers that Cinépolis Cinemas has in place to attract cinema fans back to theatres?

We at Cinépolis Cinemas recognise that the current situation has resulted in lower purchasing power for our customers. For this reason, we have launched exciting offers continuously across all our locations, such as Cinépolis Day on Sundays, as well as students and family packages. We are constantly working on providing the most lucrative offers for our customers to suit their needs.

Theatre technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the last decade, how has Cinépolis Cinemas leveraged this change to benefit cinema viewers at its screens?

We believe no cinema experience can be complete without the one-of-a-kind formats coupled with the latest technology.

The Macro screens offer considerably larger formats that are double the size of the average movie theatre screen. Macro guests will get to enjoy a lifelike experience through 2K projection, the Dolby Atmos surround system, a silver screen, and a visually outstanding 3D experience.

Designed with families in mind, the internationally acclaimed and colourful Junior auditorium is the ideal destination for a family movie night, with a range of seating options and play facilities for children, including bean-bag seating, a large slide, and a ball pit. The Junior auditoriums offer a welcoming and fun experience to audiences in different age groups, who will enjoy the superb sound quality of the Dolby 7.1 surround sound system, and the high definition 2K projection that brings your favourite blockbusters to life.

Premium guests at Cinépolis Cinemas will enjoy an experience that is every bit as comfortable as it is captivating, with reclining Deluxe and Premium seating options as well as a recliner and electric recliner alternatives. The engrossing view of the screen from the comfort of the seats is complemented with immersive audiovisual technologies to create a refined moviegoing experience.

Cinépolis Cinemas introduced its first luxury experience in Muscat, Oman. These offer a premium service with four luxury screens, featuring 180-degree leather reclining seats, Maitre d’ call buttons, and adjustable tables.

Another cinematic experience that catapults Cinépolis Cinemas ahead of the competition is the state-of-the-art 4DX experience in Bahrain and Muscat.

The immersive theatre format allows cinema lovers to “live” the movie thanks to motion seats and outstanding special effects such as wind, water, seat vibration, smell, and air shots - all perfectly synchronised with the action on screen.

Please share your expansion plans for the UAE and the region.

Cinépolis Cinemas has aggressive expansion plans for the region. We have created a joint venture with the Dubai-based Al Tayer to build and operate cinemas across the GCC.

We will also be launching our flagship offering in the UAE, with the opening of Meydan One, which will include 21 screens, and an exclusive VIP lounge with a total seating capacity of 3,035.

In Saudi Arabia, we have partnered with Al Hokair Group, a leading hospitality and entertainment operator in the MENA region, to set up movie theatres in 15 major cities across the country.