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Policy Reversal! Saudi Arabia to Lift 35-Year Ban on Cinemas

Cinema-going people in Saudi Arabia are heaving a sigh of relief as government of that country has resolved to re-introduce public cinemas after 35 years.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia said that public cinemas would be allowed in the conservative kingdom and the first cinemas were likely to open by March 2018.

“Commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the kingdom as of early 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years,” the culture and information ministry said in a statement on Monday, adding that the government would begin licensing venues immediately.

Hardliners, who see cinemas as a threat to cultural and religious identity, were instrumental in shutting them down in the 1980s.


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The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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