Saudi Arabia Just Lifted a Decade-Old Ban on Movie Theaters

Social change through the big screen

Dec 26, 2017

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Ever since the first movie theaters opened in the early 20th century, going to the movies has been one of the favorite past-times of people all over the world.

What we take for granted as a fun night out has been a punishable crime for the past 35 years in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom began closing movie theaters after it adobted an extremley conservative interpretation of Islam in 1979.

Earlier this month however, Saudi leaders announced that the long-standing ban on movie theaters would be lifted and people were now free to enjoy the latest movies released.

While lifting the ban was reportedly motivated by economic interests, the Saudi Arabian government has recently shown a trend of accepting cultural activities that are taken for granted in most other nations around the world.

Earlier this year, the government even announced that starting 2018 women would be allowed to drive in the Kingdom - something that hasn't been possible until now.

Old habits change slowly, but if recent social changes in Saudi Arabia have been any indication, it seems that we are witnessing the beginning of a change in the Saudi's way of life towards a more open and inclusive society.

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