Saudi Arabia To Allow Movie Theaters To Open For First Time In 35 Years


Skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Source: Reuters and Huffington Post

Cinemas were banned in the early 1980s under pressure from Islamists as Saudi society turned towards a restrictive form of the religion.

DUBAI, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Monday that public cinemas would be allowed in the conservative kingdom for the first time in over 35 years, and that the first ones were likely to open next March.

Cinemas were banned in the early 1980s under pressure from Islamists as Saudi society turned towards a restrictive form of the religion that discouraged public entertainment and many forms of mixing between men and women.

Under reforms led by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the government is easing many of those restrictions, and also plans to lift a ban on women driving next year. It says the economy, hit hard by low oil prices, will benefit from the growth of an entertainment industry.

“Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification,” said Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad. “By developing the broader cultural sector we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the Kingdom’s entertainment options.”

By 2030, Saudi Arabia is expected to open over 300 cinemas with more than 2,000 screens, a government statement said, predicting the cinema industry would contribute over 90 billion riyals ($24 billion) to the economy and create 30,000 permanent jobs by 2030.

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2 replies

  1. Morality enforced at government level invariably gradually fails, as has become too obvious with the availability of nudity and pornography through internet. Morality is best introduced at personal levels and the government needs to focus on human rights of all members rather than those of the elite and the royals.

  2. I believe that Allah has given a true sign to Ahmadiyyah and peaceful educated Muslim to take this apportunity to take the side between the truth and false. Berwen God word and men word.
    Remember ! Not always majority are true, be silent is not the act of the truth.
    Pray to God and ask for help.
    With ❤️

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