Public cinemas have been banned in Saudi Arabia since the early 1980s.
The country’s first cinema movie premiere was attended by those with a special invitation, of which there few. Before the show itself, the Minister of Culture spoke. According to him, a new stage of the country’s development begins; you don’t need to go abroad for entertainment, it is now available inside the country.
The first public film screenings will begin this Friday. For the next few weeks the films will be shown only in one movie theater, while cinemas are scheduled to open throughout the whole kingdom in the coming months.
The reason for the ban on movie theatres in the 1980s was a sharp increase in conservative tendencies in Saudi society and criticism by religious figures of the country’s authorities.