French cinema chain Pathé has launched in Tunisia and set to open shortly in Morocco. In Morocco Pathé has partnered with Marjane Holdings, a leading supermarket retailer.
Pathé cinema launched its Pathé Tunis City multiplex- its first in Africa – on the 22nd December 2018. The new complex will house 8 cinemas, each of which will broadcast 6 screenings per day. The programming includes both local and international movies. Its opening comes as Tunisian cinema experiences something of a renaissance: a decade ago domestic filmmakers made on only two to three feature films annually. Now more than a dozen are made each year. The new multiplex has limited competition: the dominant cinemas in Tunis such as Le Colisée, Le Mondial and Le Rio have been housed in familiar old colonial buildings.
In Morocco, Pathé has partnered with Marjane Holdings, owner of the Acima and Marjane supermarket / hypermarket fascias. Its first multiplex will be in Casablanca’s Californie district. Its second multiplex will be in Marjane’s Hay Ryad hypermarket complex in Rabat. Marjane has 38 hypermarkets in Morocco (although not all sites are suitable for cinema multiplexes), and it is likely we will see further multiplex developments in major cities such as Marrakech, Tangier, Fez and Agadir, and probably a second site in Casablanca.
Elsewhere in North Africa, multiplex cinemas are big business in Egypt and a standard feature in the new generaton of premium shopping malls such as Mall of Egypt, Sun City Mall, Festival City and City Stars. Majid Al Futtaim, Carrefour’s partner in Egypt (and East Africa), operates two multiplexes in Egypt, one each in Cairo and Alexandria, under the Vox banner. In Algeria, however, there are no multiplex cinemas (and very few hypermarkets or shopping malls with which to co-locate multiplexes). Neither is there a single multiplex in Libya (it has a handful of independent cinemas), partly due to the legacy of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, who controlled (and effectively banned) domestic feature film production in the country.