Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Saudi Arabia's 35-year Cinema Ban to end with "Black Panther"

Saudi Arabia's 35-year Cinema Ban to end with

It accomplished a feat that another Marvel Universe film also had not achieved - it was No. 1 at the box office for five consecutive weeks after its release.

Marvel's record-breaking superhero blockbuster, which has already amassed north of $1.2 billion since launching in February, will herald Saudi Arabia's return to the cinema world.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is ushering in ambitious economic and social reforms.


Saudi Arabia is now undertaking an ambitious economic and social reform initiative - "Vision 2030" - that aims to modernize the country. The venue is reportedly multi-leveled and decked out with marble bathrooms - certainly more luxe then most of the cinemas we attend. Three more screens will be added by mid-summer. "We think there is a huge market". "It's a dramatic building".

The announcement that Riyadh will screen the superhero flick is another indicator that Saudi Arabia is changing - and it wants people to notice.

Saudi Arabia banned public movie screenings 35 years ago due to religious concerns, but the decision to reverse that ban was made in December of 2017.


"The aim of Saudi Vision 2030 is to improve the quality of life for Saudi families by providing an array of entertainment opportunities", said Awwad Alawwad, Saudi Arabia's minister of culture and information.

But being a "moviegoer" within Saudi Arabia will be a novelty for many.

They just keep winning, ne! AMC will convert a standalone symphony concert hall into the country's first movie theater.


Saudis are no strangers to Hollywood movies. Cirque du Soleil will stage its first performance in the country on September 23, according to a statement from the General Entertainment Authority.

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