Saudi Arabia to host cinema test screening with 'Black Panther'

19 Abril, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Kelly Blake
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On April 18, 2018, at about 9 pm in Riyadh, around 600 guests will sit down in a refitted conference hall in the King Abdullah Financial District as the big screens showcase the major cultural landmark, the Marvel superhero blockbuster - Black Panther.

"We are very happy to be part of this historic moment - the showing of the first commercial film in the kingdom after more than 35 years", Alawwad said in a statement. 'We hope over the next five years to be opening some 40 movie theaters in different cities, which should total 100 theaters, target planned for 2030, explained Alawwad.

"It will be the first in a series of test screenings, attended by industry specialists, that will be held... to support final preparations for the opening of the cinema to the wider public", said the information ministry's Centre for International Communication.

The crown prince, 32, has already eased many restrictions in the last two years, including on public concerts, women driving and gender mixing. The Saudi official said there would also be no segregation when theaters open to the public - moviegoers would be able to choose between mixed, male-only and female-only screenings.

The kingdom banned cinemas in the early 1980s under pressure from Islamists as Saudi society turned towards a particularly severe form of religion.

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And it's definitely more impressive than the screening of "The Emoji Movie" that took place in a makeshift theater in January. "Saudis see movies right now, they love movies, but they watch them at home, they stream them, or they travel outside the kingdom to see movies".

In particular, the country has at long last allowed women to drive and serve in the army as well as limiting the overwhelming powers of the religious police.

The U.S. -based AMC was granted the first license to operate a cinema in Saudi Arabia in a deal signed earlier this month in California with the crown prince.

By 2013, the film "Wadjda" made history by becoming the first Academy Award entry for Saudi Arabia, though it wasn't nominated for the Oscars.

Saudi Arabia said a year ago that movies "will be subject to censorship according to media policy standards of the Kingdom", to ensure they comply with Saudi values and principles and do not contradict Sharia, or Islamic, law.

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