Black Panther can’t stop making history.
The Marvel hit will become the first film to be shown in Saudi Arabia since the early 1980s. On April 18th, a new AMC movie theater will open its doors in Riyadh with a gala premiere for the film. The theater, located in King Abdullah Financial District, was originally intended to be a concert hall, but it is now a luxurious cinema with over 600 leather seats, balconies, and marble bathrooms.
AMC is hoping to open more than 40 cinemas in Saudi Arabia within the next couple of years, and up to 100 theaters in the whole country by 2030. It’s being distributed by Disney of course, along with its Middle East partner Italia Film. Ending the cinema ban is part of an attempt from Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman to transform Saudi society, breaking away from the country’s religious conservative standards that have been in place since 1979.
Black Panther has been breaking box office records since before it premiered, but ending a 35-year-old cinema ban is more proof that Ryan Coogler’s film has now become a global cultural phenomenon.
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