April 18 in the Saudi capital Riyadh was held the first 35 years of film in a movie theater – visitors showed “the Black Panther.” The premiere took place in the country’s first cinema opened after the ban on the public demonstration of paintings on religious beliefs in 2017 was lifted.
At the first show it was possible to get by invitation only – they were received by about 600 guests. Among them: Minister of Culture Awad Alawwad (Awwad Alawwad), princess Rima bint Bandar (Rima bint Bandar) and popular bloggers. Some visitors admitted to the correspondent of The New York Times that they did not know anything about the “Black Panther”, but they came to the event itself.
I love modern movies. Earlier, I and my friends went to Bahrain or the UAE for the weekend to watch the novelties. I hope that now we will be able to follow the films closer to home.
The prohibition of films in theaters was adopted in the 1980s, when the wave of ultra-conservatism swept Saudi Arabia. After decades, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is in charge of reform in the country, abolished it. In this case, theaters will still allow only films that correspond to the “Sharia law and the moral values of the Kingdom.”
Because of this, the distributors had to slightly change the “Black Panther”: from the movie they cut out about 40 seconds. According to an employee of the agency Assotiated Press, the censorship touched the final scene with a kiss of heroes, when the more brutal moments in the film remained.
While in Riyadh there is only one room with a cafe and popcorn. Also in the building were made special prayer rooms.
In January 2018, the residents of Saudi Arabia were already shown “Emoji film”, recognized as the worst film of 2017. However, the show did not take place in the cinema – at that time in the country there was not a single pavilion. By 2030 in Saudi Arabia should appear about 300 cinemas with a free entrance. Some shows will be held for “family” viewing, and others – only for men.