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'Black Panther' Opening: Saudi Arabia Lifting Decades-Long Ban on Movie Theaters

'Black Panther' Opening: Saudi Arabia Lifting Decades-Long Ban on Movie Theaters

As per earlier decision between the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and the American theatrical exhibitor AMC, 30 more cinemas to be opened in 15 different cities in the Kingdom over the next five years.

Now it's the turn of "Black Panther". Following the formal ribbon cutting ceremony, guests filed into the cinema to watch the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther, the first showing of its kind in the Kingdom in decades.

"The UN Secretary-General met with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness the Saudi Crown Prince".

After 40 seconds of the film was cut by local censors, Black Panther will become the first movie to open in the Kingdom's first theatre to open there in 35 years.

A Saudi man looks at a auto during a test screening of Black Panther in Riyadh on April 18, 2018.

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Movies are part of the crown prince's plans to let citizens have more fun in a place where the religious police traditionally shouted at women to cover up and where they are still usually segregated from men in public.

In related news, at the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference that will run from 2-3 May 2018, Saudi Arabia's on-going efforts to create a vibrant entertainment sector, will be discussed. Increasing the freedom of cinema within the country and allowing more Western cinema into Saudi Arabian theaters is a visible change in the everyday lives of the Saudi Arabian people.

The smell of buttery popcorn filled the air as confetti rained down through the multi-storey atrium where Aron and Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad al-Awwad announced the launch and proceeded into the 450-seat hall.

The Vision project seeks to revive cinema as a way to give citizens the ability to experience entertainment in ways that have been banned for longer than most of the country's citizens have been alive. In addition, global entertainment companies are entering the market to operate venues and cinemas.

"We made a proposal to the (previous US) Obama administration that if the US were to send forces... then Saudi Arabia would consider along with other countries sending forces as part of this contingent", he said. A framework for classifying and approving films for distribution is in place, and as well as Black Panther, there are a number of upcoming blockbusters that are now in the process of being classified.