By Patrick Brogan
As part of reforms under the stewardship of Crown-Prince ibn Salman, Saudi Arabia is set to reintroduce the public to the world of cinema. Cinemas were closed down in the 80s to appease hardline Wahhabis.
The Middle Eastern country has seen a change in social policies with much of this directed at bringing in foreign investment as it seeks to lessen its dependency on oil.
This will potentially open the door to foreign films and the powers-that-be have promised that films will go through a censorship process. Many feel this is to soften the blow for hardliners, but details of this have not been released, yet.
This makes sense financially for the kingdom. Many Saudis travel to neighbouring countries for entertainment, cinema included, and this is money going out of the economy. Saudi Arabia is planning to open 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens by 2030 which will create 30,000 permanent jobs and contributing $24 billion dollars to the economy it is estimated.
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