Under an agreement with AMC Entertainment Holdings, forty cinemas will open in the next five years, with the first to open at the King Abdullah Financial District and the main theatre is set to have 500 leather seats, orchestra and balcony levels and marble bathrooms.
Now it's the turn of "Black Panther".
Saudi Arabia held a private screening on Wednesday of the Hollywood blockbuster "Black Panther" to herald the launch of movie theatres in the kingdom, and tickets go on sale Thursday for public showings on Friday. The themes in the movie, set in a fictional land, are notable as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman consolidates his power and tries to persuade the world that he is reshaping his country to be more open and modern. AMC is owned by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which focuses on multinational ventures in the entertainment industry.
The comments were in response to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday that US President Donald Trump's administration was seeking to assemble an Arab force, including troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to replace a US military contingent in Syria.
A Saudi man looks at a vehicle during a test screening of Black Panther in Riyadh on April 18, 2018.More news: Trump Attorney Michael Cohen's Secret 3rd Client
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Over the past several years, Saudi Arabia has gradually loosened restrictions on movie screenings, with local film festivals and screenings in makeshift theaters.
But in 2017, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information announced that cinemas would be allowed to operate at the beginning of 2018. The industry is projected to contribute about US$24 billion to the economy and add more than 30,000 permanent jobs. In 1983, the ban on publicly released cinema arose as a result of stricter laws banning the co-mingling of men and women in public spaces.
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. 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.
The opening was overseen by the Development and Investment Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and a partner with AMC in the new cinema complex.
"We made a proposal to the (previous US) Obama administration that if the US were to send forces... then Saudi Arabia would consider along with other countries sending forces as part of this contingent", he said.