Saudi Arabia is preparing to end a more than three-decade-long ban on cinemas this evening with the test screening of Marvel’s superhero film “Black Panther” in Riyadh.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced earlier this month that the wholly-owned Development and Investment Entertainment Company has signed an agreement with US giant AMC Entertainment to manage its cinemas in Saudi Arabia.
AMC is expected to open 40 cinemas in 15 Saudi cities over the next five years and as many as 50 to 100 cinemas in 25 cities across the Kingdom by 2030, the Ministry of Culture and Information said.
The Saudi general commission for audiovisual media has invited local and international media to participate in covering the event.
Supervisor of the cinema sector in Saudi Arabia, Badr Al-Zahrani, said: “The commission has worked a lot during the past months to coordinate with different parties including municipal and rural affairs as well as customs and civil defence to organise the investors’ entry to the market.”
Al-Zahrani pointed out that there are available spaces in commercial complexes that can be converted to movie theatres after requirements are fulfilled.
The development of the entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia is one of the main objectives of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 which is set to lead the Kingdom away from its dependence on oil revenues and expand its industries.