The UAE’s first dedicated arthouse cinema opens at Reel Cinemas



1.The Picturehouse now open with indie love story ‘Paper Heart’
2.Exclusive screenings of critically acclaimed arthouse and independent films

The Picturehouse Lounge The Picturehouse, the first cinema in the UAE dedicated to arthouse, independent and award-winning classics opened recently at Reel Cinemas in The Dubai Mall. The Picturehouse has lined up five debate-rousing movies between now and the end of January.

The opening attraction is Paper Heart featuring Charlyne Yi, who embarks on a journey across America to make a documentary about the one subject she doesn’t fully understand – love. She joins the film’s director Nicholas Jasenovec as they talk to strangers, scientists, bikers, romance novelists and children in search of answers and advice. But it is when Charlyne meets Michael Cera, a boy after her own heart, that her pursuit to discover the nature of love takes on a fresh new urgency and she risks losing the person closest to her.

Other forthcoming attractions include In The Loop, a no-holds-barred political satire about two super-power presidents ready to go to war; Cold Souls, a soul-searching comedy featuring Paul Giamatti as himself agonizing over his role in a Chekov play; No One Knows About Persian Cats, the Iranian film directed by Bahman Ghobadi about Iran’s underground Rock scene; and The Shock Doctrine, an investigation of disaster capitalism. Each movie will run for between two and three weeks at a time at The Picturehouse.

Mr Gordon Kirk, General Manager, Reel Cinemas said: “The Picturehouse represents a new wave in cinema in the UAE. For serious movie lovers, it will bring a wide array of exciting classics, arthouse and independent films, which will spark debates amongst our patrons. The Picturehouse will also screen critically acclaimed films and movies from the Arab World, thus offering the first of its kind platform to promote local talent.”

Mr Suhaimi Rafdi, Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Organisation said: “The Picturehouse was Singapore’s first arthouse cinema. It has been showcasing cutting edge and critically acclaimed films since 1990 and has played an important role in Singapore’s cinematic history. When we were developing the Reel Cinemas brand, there was no doubt that we would introduce The Picturehouse as one of its key unique features in Dubai and we hope it will play an important role in the development of UAE cinemas. Boasting a multi-cultural population, Dubai is the perfect fit for an arthouse cinema with a wide audience of varied nationalities and cinematic sensibilities.”

As a special offer to celebrate the opening of The Picturehouse, Reel Cinemas has introduced The Picturehouse Passport, a booklet of tickets valid for the first five movies to show on The Picturehouse screen. This passport will be priced at just AED100, a discount of AED50 off the regular price.

The Picturehouse has its own unique identity which is epitomized in its logo designed in a 16:9 ratio that symbolizes the commonly used aspect ratio between the height and width of cinematic framing. The logo reflects a sense of independence and uniqueness which are often associated with movies and thereby creates an identity that epitomises the soul and essence of The Picturehouse.

The Picturehouse at Reel Cinemas seats just over 100 persons and has its own dedicated lounge which acts as an ideal venue for movie-goers to gather and discuss the film over light refreshments.

The aim of The Picturehouse is to entertain, inspire and engage its patrons and conjure up lively debates and discussion points from the content of the films it showcases. An ongoing calendar of events will be introduced to The Picturehouse such as discussion forums, membership schemes and themed sessions.

Developed by Reel Entertainment LLC, the joint venture of Emaar Retail and Singapore-based premier entertainment provider Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd, Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall houses 22 screens and is the largest in Dubai.

About Emaar Malls Group LLC:
Emaar Malls Group LLC, is the retail and shopping mall subsidiary of Emaar Properties PJSC. Emaar has announced investments in shopping malls of over US$4 billion (AED 15 billion) with 10 million sq ft of retail property in operation or under development in the emerging markets of the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and South Asia and is on target to become one of the largest developers of shopping malls in the world. At the forefront of these developments is the flagship The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall, in the heart of the Downtown Burj Dubai. Emaar Malls Group also operates two other malls in Dubai; Souk Al Bahar, an Arabesque shopping and entertainment development on The Old Town Island, and Dubai Marina Mall, a lifestyle shopping mall for residents of the Dubai Marina community. Internationally, Emaar Malls Group is actively planning or developing shopping centres in Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and continues to drive the company’s expansion strategy on a global scale.

About Emaar Retail:
Emaar Retail is a wholly owned subsidiary of Emaar Malls Group LLC and is the vehicle for all retail operations. Emaar Retail is developing a portfolio of brands in key growth markets and is strategically building new alliances, joint ventures, franchises and licenses for all mall developments under the Emaar Malls Group umbrella. Emaar Retail also manages the business operations for The Dubai Mall’s leisure and entertainment brands including KidZania®, SEGA Republic, the Olympic-sized ‘Dubai Ice Rink’ and Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Emaar Retail has also entered into a joint-venture with Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd in Singapore, to form Reel Entertainment to develop cinemas across the region including the flagship 22-screen Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall. Emaar Retail was established to drive Emaar Malls Group’s developments in key emerging markets across the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent through creating the right retail mix for the various markets.

About Emaar Properties PJSC:
Emaar Properties PJSC, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, is a global property developer with a significant presence in key markets world-wide. Besides building residential and commercial properties, the company also has proven competencies in shopping malls & retail, hospitality & leisure, education and healthcare. For more information, visit

About Cathay Cineplexes:
Cathay Organisation’s history as a pioneer in movie entertainment began on 18 July 1935 when it was incorporated as Associated Theatres Ltd (later changed to Cathay Organisation) and opened its first cinema, The Pavilion, in Kuala Lumpur in 1936. In Singapore, Cathay Organisation started operating its first cinema when it opened the Cathay Building in 1939. Between the 1950s to 1970s, Cathay Organisation expanded its cinema network and embarked on film production with studios in Hong Kong and Singapore. In November 1998, Cathay Cineplexes Pte Ltd was incorporated in its efforts to deliver a consistently high quality cinematic experience to patrons in Singapore and Malaysia. Cathay Cineplexes continues to be a “choice destination” offering quality films with state-of-art technology including digital projection and Singapore’s only THX-certified halls as well as service with a difference to continually ensure that movie-going is a preferred leisure activity. Already a leading multiplex operator in Singapore, the company’s vision is to make Cathay Cineplexes a leading multiplex operator in South East Asia. For more information, please visit


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