After 35 years of cinema ban, Saudi Arabia allows cinema theatres to open, following the liberalization wave supported by young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi government announced in a press release that theatres can show films starting from March. This comes after a series of allowing long banned things including women driving, musical concerts and comedy shows.
“Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification,” said Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad, adding “By developing the broader cultural sector we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the Kingdom’s entertainment options.”
Cinemas were closed in early 1980’s due to heavy pressure from Islamists which led the society to be a conservative community.
Reuters reported that in a nod to conservatives, the government said the films would be censored to make sure they remain “in line with values and principles in place and do not contradict with Sharia Laws and moral values in the kingdom.”