A Saudi Arabian Night at the Movies: First one after 35 Years


A night at the movies doesn’t sound like much, but those who showed up at theaters in Riyadh and other Saudi cities on Sunday evening thought it was a very big deal.

In fact, no one in the audience younger than 35 was even alive when the last film was screened in the kingdom.

The opening of the cinema industry is another indication of the opening of the minds of Saudi leadership that has recently allowed women to drive cars and venture outside without chaperones. The makeshift theaters where films showed were made to be comfortable and create the aura of a movie house – including a supply of pop corn for viewers to enjoy.

Despite the excitement inherent in the return of cinema, Saudis won’t be seeing an extensive listing of cinematic offerings anytime soon. The new theaters will still be off limits to films not deemed to be presentable for families in the conservative kingdom which means children’s movies will be in abundance.


SOURCE: The Medialine.org

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.