Today sees Saudi Arabia’s 35-year cinema ban lifted. Blockbuster action flick Black Panther will play at a test screening today at the soft opening before opening to the general public in May.
A collaboration between the Saudi Development and Investment Entertainment Company and US theatre giant AMC Entertainment, the movie will be played today at a newly built cinema complex in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District.
Led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, tickets are expected to go on sale later this month.
Original story (05/04/2018)
Saudi Arabia is set to open a cinema on 18 April in Riyadh, according to AFP. This will mark the first cinema in the kingdom in over three decades.
Following news that the ban was lifted, AMC Entertainment was granted a licence that will allow them to open 40 cinemas over the next five years, bringing big-screen movies to 15 cities.
Reports claim that the first movie will be Marvel’s superhero movie Black Panther.
Information Minister Awwad Alawwad was quoted in a statement from the information ministry's Centre for International Communication, saying: “The granting of the first licence marks the opening of very significant opportunities for exhibitors… The Saudi market is very large, with the majority of the population... eager to watch their favourite films here at home.”
And the plans don’t stop there.
The Saudi General Entertainment Authority also announced plans to bring over large-scale production shows including Cirque du Soleil and Disney on Ice.