Saudi Ara­bia opens first movie theater with Black Pan­ther screen­ing

Screen­ing will lift 35-year ban on cine­mas in desert na­tion

The Daily News Egypt - - Film -

For the first time since of­fi­cials lifted a 35-year ban on cine­mas in Saudi Ara­bia last year as part of a mod­erni­sa­tion drive in the highly con­ser­va­tive king­dom, a cin­ema opened for a test screen­ing Wed­nes­day in Riyadh.

Movie the­atres are set to open to the larger pub­lic next month.

Se­lected for the spe­cial oc­ca­sion is the US block­buster Black Pan­ther, a su­per­hero story fol­low­ing char­ac­ters in the fic­tion­alised African na­tion of Wakanda which has been smash­ing box of­fice records since its re­lease two months ago.

The move to re-open the­atres comes as part of a re­form pack­age by the king­dom’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, who is like­wise said to be be­hind the re­forms that will see women driv­ing in the coun­try next June—a prac­tice pre­vi­ously banned—as he has vowed the na­tion will re­turn to “moder­ate Is­lam.”

Ear­lier in 2018, Saudi Ara­bia wit­nessed the first con­cert of many Egyp­tian singers, in­clud­ing Tamer Hosny. Last week, the Cairo Opera House pre­pared an artis­tic pro­gramme for its first visit to Saudi Ara­bia, which in­cludes art cre­ated by great com­posers and po­ets, and will be per­formed by the opera’s stars, ac­com­pa­nied by the band led by mae­stro Mostafa Helmy.

The the­atri­cal poster for Black Pan­ther

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