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tiptrot.com January 16, 2018


Saudi Arabia Is Finally Lifting Its Ban on Movie Theaters

13 December 2017, 04:31 | Bernice Figueroa

Saudi Arabia Is Finally Lifting Its Ban on Movie Theaters

Saudi sovereign fund plans cinema venture with AMC Entertainment

The decision is a part of the young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030, a program created to socially reform the country.

A statement issued by the ministry of information voiced hope that this move will develop the economy of the cultural and media sector in general and provide job opportunities to Saudis as well as help them acquire new skills.

The last attempts to open cinemas were made by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal in February 2009 through the movie Menahi, which was shown in Riyadh, in the first public cinema show in the history of the capital as an unprecedented event in the theatre of King Fahad Cultural Centre, which has a capacity of 3,000 spectators.

Theater-goers are expected to be lining up in March 2018 when movie houses will again be licensed.

"Reviving cinemas would represent a paradigm shift in the kingdom, which is promoting entertainment as part of a sweeping reform plan dubbed "Vision 2030", despite opposition from conservatives".


Movie theaters were shut down in the 1980s during a wave of ultraconservatism in the country.

Saudi Arabia is lifting a decades-old ban on cinemas and will allow both men and women in the audience - but media commentators don't expect to see couples sitting together watching steamy thrillers any time soon.

But it's worth noting that the 2016 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum ranked the kingdom of Saudi Arabia 141 out of 144 countries on gender parity.

Saudi Arabia might also premiere Bollywood movies and Arabian movies, but only after censoring them.

The Saudi government announced on Monday that the first theatres could start showing films as early as March, part of a liberalising reform drive that has opened the door to concerts, comedy shows and women drivers in the past year.



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