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Saudi Arabia to allow Cinemas Re-Open, Ending 35-Year Ban



Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Photo by Nicolas Asfouri – Pool/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that public cinemas would be allowed in the conservative kingdom and the first cinemas were likely to open by March 2018.

“As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom,” Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Alawwad said in a statement.

“We expect the first cinemas to open in March 2018.”

Public cinemas in the country have been illegal since the 1980s, but a plan to reintroduce them has been mooted by the head of the General Authority for Entertainment, Amr al-Madani, as part of the government’s Vision 2030 slate of cultural and economic reforms.

The grand mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh added: “I hope those in charge of the entertainment authority are guided to turn it from bad to good and not to open doors to evil.”

Vision 2030 was launched in 2016 by then deputy crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

Chief proposals include a reduction in unemployment from 11.6 per cent to seven per cent and upping the private sector’s contribution to the economy from 40 per cent to 65 per cent.

The grand mufti attracted criticism in the west in 2012 when he issued a fatwa approving the marriage of girls as young as 10, saying “good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age.”

Photo Credit: Nicolas Asfouri – Pool/Getty Images

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Mondela

    December 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    This country with backwardness though…

    • curious

      December 11, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      and to think Nigeria is even more backward…

  2. maygurl

    December 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    This Arabians can be fine anyhow shaaaaa

  3. maygurl

    December 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    *these* not *this*

  4. i sh## on Hajjj

    December 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    F### Saudi Arabia. They are a trillion dollar muslim dynasty who sole job is to play ‘instagram’ with desert demographics!

    #Just Ask the Yemeneese!

  5. Waffles

    December 11, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Saudi Arabia is a vicious dictatorship -no African country can dare half of their harsh domestic laws- yet western leaders cozyy up to them for their large oil deposits and military equipment importation from the US, Britain and France. They have a dismal record of human rights; for example with a significant number of guest workers from Christian countries, non-Islamic worship is essentially banned. Gender segration is on another level.

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