Conservative kingdom had cinemas in 1970s but clerics closed them, reflecting rising Islamist influence at the time

Saudi Arabia’s first cinema in more than 35 years will open on 18 April in the capital Riyadh, authorities said on Wednesday after agreeing with AMC Entertainment Holdings to open up to 40 theatres over the next five years.

Movie theatres will not be segregated by gender like most other public places in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom, and the first screening will reportedly be Marvel’s superhero movie Black Panther.

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