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Saudi Arabia’s First Cinema in 35 years To Open on April 18

Riyadh (April 05, 2018): Saudi Arabia will open cinema for first time in over three decades on April 18 in Riyadh, authorities said Wednesday.

Authorities announced the opening of cinema after a ban was lifted last year as part of a far-reaching liberalisation drive.AMC Entertainment has been granted the first licence to operate cinemas, with Saudi state media saying the US giant is expected to open 40 cinemas across 15 Saudi cities over the next five years.

Khaleej Times reports, “AMC plans to open the Kingdom’s first cinema theatre in Riyadh on April 18,” the information ministry’s Centre for International Communication said in a statement.Saudi Arabia Begins Issuing Licences To Run CinemasThe news comes after AMC Entertainment signed a non-binding agreement in December with Saudi Arabia’s vast Public Investment Fund to build and operate cinemas across the Kingdom.

The move to reopen cinemas is part of a modernisation drive by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seeking to balance unpopular subsidy cuts in an era of low oil prices with more entertainment options – despite opposition from religious hardliners.

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