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Reeling them in: Saudi Arabia opens cinema

Emmanuel Macron

A Saudi private investment firm, in collaboration with AMC Entertainment, an American cinema chain, hosted the opening night and plan to open three more screens at the complex later this year, according to the Saudi Gazette.

DIEC and AMC Entertainment commemorated the historic moment with a gala event hosting prominent local and worldwide guests.

A woman eats popcorn during the test screening of Black Panther at the AMC cinema in Riyadh.

"Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is working on breaking up with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", Jordan's Ambassador to Lebanon Nabil Masarwa quoted his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdel-Al al-Qenaie as saying in a document issued September 20, 2017, as reported by al-Jazeera.

"This is a landmark moment in the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a more vibrant economy and society".

Guterres, who also met Saudi King Salman on Tuesday, emphasised the need for a political solution in Syria, free of foreign interference.

"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. "Through clear and transparent regulatory frameworks, we will ensure that both global and Saudi filmmakers have an opportunity to showcase their work across our country".

The U.S. -based AMC was granted the first license to operate a cinema in Saudi Arabia in a deal signed earlier this month in California with the crown prince. This is expected to create a substantial number of new jobs in the Kingdom, around 30,000 permanent jobs and around 130,000 temporary jobs by 2030.

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The Saudi general commission for audiovisual media has invited local and global media to participate in covering the event.

Adding that the Saudi government had already approved films to follow "Black Panther", including "Rampage" and an approved a cut of "The Avengers".

The extent of censorship was not clear but a Saudi official said the same versions of films shown in Dubai or Kuwait will be suitable for Saudi Arabia.

The company is planning to open up to 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and a total of 50-100 cinemas in approximately 25 Saudi cities by 2030.

"We're going to show typical Hollywood blockbusters that are very popular in the United States and Europe and elsewhere in the world", AMC CEO Adam Aron said to CNN.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is working to break up with Saudi Arabia due to disapproval of Saudi policies in the region, according to secret diplomatic documents published by Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.

It was held at a concert hall converted into a cinema complex in the capital, Riyadh, where it will open to the general public on Friday.

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