Early next year, commercial movie theaters will be granted licenses, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture and Information said in a statement. It expects the first cinemas to open their doors in March.
"This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the Kingdom," Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Alawwad said in the statement.
The government hopes that opening movie theaters will spark economic growth and create more job opportunities, while providing Saudis with more entertainment options, CNN reported.
There are few entertainment attractions in Saudi Arabia. Many of its citizens visit neighboring countries for vacations and leisure time, CNN reported, and the Saudi government wants more of those people to spend their money at home.
The Ministry of Culture said it plans to have 300 cinemas with more than 2000 screens by 2030, CNN reported. The movies need to be subtitled in Arabic, and censorship of nudity is likely, CNN reported.
Novo Cinemas, based in the United Arab Emirates, is already considering the opportunity.
"We are absolutely studying our options to enter the Saudi market ... it's an important market," CEO Debbie Kristiansen told CNN.
The event formerly known as Home World has a new name and new location.Get totally inspired for spring as you find hundreds of ways to improve your home. Make your home the one you really want. Show open daily duringmall hours. Admission is free!
Landscaping and Outdoors
Get ready for Spring and Summer and transform your outdoor space into something that feels like you’re on vacation
Make sure to visit our demonstration stage during the entire show. There will be exciting demonstrations on how to re-purpose and design thanks to Monarch Market Affair.
Meet Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch
Join us as we welcome Me-TV superstar Barry Williams who played the iconic Greg Brady from The Brady Bunch TV Show. Meet him and get an autograph on February 10th stage side at center court in front of Macy’s.
The line will start forming when the Mall Opens, and Barry’s First appearance will be at 11 a.m.
Come prepared with your camera or cell phone for the Meet and Greet.