Saudi Arabia will hold a private screening of the Hollywood blockbuster "Black Panther" to herald the launch of movie theaters that are set to open to the public next month.
Authorities are planning an invitation-only screening of the movie in a concert hall that's been converted into a cinema complex in the capital, Riyadh.
Wednesday's screening will be followed by a rush to build movie theaters in major cities.
Saudi Arabia had recently signed an agreement earlier with AMC to open 30 to 40 cinemas in about 15 Saudi cities over the next five years.
Saudi had some cinemas in the 1970s but its powerful clerics managed to close them, reflecting rising Islamist influence throughout the Arab region at the time.
The kingdom has recently embarked on far-reaching program of social, economic and cultural reforms to liberalize various aspects of society.
Over the past several years, Saudi Arabia has gradually loosened restrictions on movie screenings, with local film festivals and screenings in makeshift theaters.
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