Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Saudi Arabia ends 35-year ban on movie theaters

   
Author Topic: Saudi Arabia ends 35-year ban on movie theaters
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6631
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 12-11-2017 08:17 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Daily Mail
Saudi Arabia on Monday lifted a decades-long ban on cinemas, part of a series of social reforms by the powerful crown prince that are shaking up the ultra-conservative kingdom.

'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, adding that the government will begin licensing cinemas immediately.

Reviving cinemas would represent a paradigm shift in the kingdom, which is promoting entertainment as part of a sweeping reform plan dubbed 'Vision 2030', despite opposition from conservatives.

'This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the kingdom,' information minister Awwad Alawwad said in the statement.

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

Saudi Arabia's highest-ranking cleric warned in January of the 'depravity' of cinemas, saying they would corrupt morals.

But authorities appear to be shrugging off the threat.

Saudi filmmakers have long argued that a ban on cinemas does not make sense in the age of YouTube.

Saudi films have been making waves abroad, using the internet to circumvent distribution channels and sometimes the stern gaze of state censors.

Interesting - they must have been one of very few nations in the world to have had a total ban. As a general rule, totalitarian societies and dictators tend to like movie theaters, because it's relatively easy to control what is played in them, compared to other kinds of media.

Given that very few movies are likely to pass the censors there (and, I'm guessing, almost no Hollywood ones), I wouldn't have thought that the business will grow very quickly. But still, it's a small piece of good news after a pretty dire summer for the industry.

 |  IP: Logged

Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3278
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 12-11-2017 08:55 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is an IMAX theatre in Khobar, but as one would expect, it was only showing 'educational' titles so far.

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Alexandre Pereira
Film Handler

Posts: 54
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2016


 - posted 12-11-2017 02:36 PM      Profile for Alexandre Pereira   Author's Homepage   Email Alexandre Pereira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Educational films like how to be a moderate head chopper.

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2233
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 12-11-2017 06:20 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, they also ended the ban on women driving a car... And one of their princes bought a $450M DaVinci painting featuring Christ.

So, there's definitely something afoot in the region. I guess they took a quick look at Dubai and Abu Dhabi and are now struck with the fear of missing out.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.