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Saudi Arabia ends ban on cinema with blockbuster 'Black Panther'

19 April 2018

The cinema will be operated by US-based firm AMC, which signed a deal with Riyadh earlier this month, stating that AMC will open 30 to 40 movie theatres in 15 cities across the kingdom within five years.

"Black Panther" has become the symbol of "black excellence" for which many audiences have long hoped.

"Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is working on breaking up with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", Jordan's Ambassador to Lebanon Nabil Masarwa quoted his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdel-Al al-Qenaie as saying in a document issued September 20, 2017, as reported by al-Jazeera.

The Hollywood blockbuster will play at a private screening in Riyadh, before they open to the public in May. AMC is owned by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which focuses on multinational ventures in the entertainment industry.

Saudi Arabia's on-going efforts to transform its economy and diversify away from its dependence on energy is driving the creation of a vibrant new entertainment sector, said regional experts ahead of an industry event at capital Riyadh in May. The first of the new locations is set to open on April 18, with "Black Panther" as the first scheduled screening.

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The gala screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther was attended by hundreds of invited guests in the sleek and chic complex - described by AMC cinema chain bosses as "the most attractive movie theater in the world".

Confetti rained down through the multi-story atrium as he and the Saudi information minister announced the official launch of the theater and proceeded into the 450-seat movie hall.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, controlled by China's Dalian Wanda, is opening the theater, bringing an end to a three-decade-long ban on cinemas.

The significant rise in the number of patents is one indicator that Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 plan has already started to bear fruit. 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. A framework for classifying and approving films for distribution is in place, and as well as Black Panther, there are a number of upcoming blockbusters that are now in the process of being classified.

According to the ministry, it was the first time for Qatar to take part in military drills alongside Saudi Arabia since the latter cut ties with Doha last summer.

Saudi Arabia ends ban on cinema with blockbuster 'Black Panther'