After 35-year ban, Saudi theaters to show 1st Arab film

Movie theaters in Saudi Arabia this week will screen an Egyptian film for the first time following the reversal of a 35-year ban on public cinemas.

Entitled Al-Badla, or The Suit, the movie -- set to debut in the kingdom on Thursday -- stars well-known Egyptian singer/actor Tamer Hosny.

In February, Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on public cinemas, drawing varied reactions from Saudi citizens.

While some believe the move will benefit the economy, others see it as another sign of encroaching western influence on the conservative Muslim kingdom.

The Saudi authorities banned public cinemas in the mid-1980s.

The ban's reversal comes as part of a raft of reforms introduced by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who last year also announced his decision to allow women to drive -- a move that went into effect in June.

Source: Anadolu Agency