'Black Panther' will be the first movie shown in Saudi Arabia for 35 years

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Black Panther (Credit: Marvel/Disney)

The first cinema to open in Saudi Arabia for 35 years will screen Marvel’s worldwide smash Black Panther.

There will be a gala showing of the film on April 18 in the capital of Riyadh, at its new AMC cinema, according to Variety.

Cinemas were shut down in the 80s under the ultra-conservative religious regime, but its new leader is making moves towards a more liberal society.

32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also changed laws permitting women to drive last year.

The plush new cinema, built inside what was originally set to be a concert hall, reportedly features 600 leather seats, balconies, marble toilets and an orchestra.

Another 40 cinemas are set to open in the gulf state over the next five years, and as many as 100 by 2030, creating thousands of jobs.

It’s thought that the film economy in the country, of which 70 percent of its 32 million population are under 30, could eventually top $1 billion.

Meanwhile, it’s yet another milestone for the Marvel movie.

Black Panther surged into the top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time earlier this week, joining films like Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It’s made nearly $1.3 billion worldwide.

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