Saudi Arabia to Lift 35-year Ban On Cinemas


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has said on Monday that the country has lifted the 35-year-long ban on cinemas.

The Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Alawwad said in a statement that cinemas would return to business in March 2018.

“As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom,” Alawwad said.

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

The about-turn on public cinemas, which were banned in 1980, is part of the kingdom’s vision 2030, cultural and economic reforms.

Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh urged entertainment authorities to use the medium to promote good and not open doors for evil.

Former deputy crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, in 2016 launched the vision 2030.

One of the reasons the cinema was reopened is to reduce the rate of unemployment which is currently at 11.6% to seven percent and also increase the contribution of the private sector from 40% to 65%.

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