Saudi Arabia opens first movie theater in 35 years
After 35 long years of prohibition citing religious reasons, Saudi Arabia has opened the first movie theatre in Riyadh. The first screening was by invitation only with both men and women in attendance. The cinema will be open to public on Friday and will be screening Marvel superhero film Black Panther.
Saudi Culture and Information Minister Awwad Alawwad, celebrities and guest filmmakers are also planning to attend the first screening for public tomorrow.
It was in December 2017 that the Ministry of Culture and Information announced a landmark decision to allow commercial cinemas to operate in the Kingdom from early 2018 as part of Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reform programme under Vision 2030, spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“The return of cinema to Saudi Arabia marks an important moment in the Kingdom’s modern-day history and cultural life, as well as in the development of the Kingdom’s entertainment industry. Today, we mark a major step in fulfilling our commitment to improving the lives of all in the Kingdom, a key pillar of Vision 2030,” said Minister Awwad Alawwad.
Saudi Arabia is expected open about 350 cinemas and 2,500 screens by 2030.