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LOS ANGELES/RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s first cinema in more than 35 years will open on April 18 in Riyadh, the capital, the authorities said on Wednesday after agreeing with AMC Entertainment Holdings to open up to 40 theatres over the next five years.

Movie theatres will not be segregated by gender like most other public places in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom, and the first screening will be Marvel’s superhero movie “Black Panther”, reported a UK-based wire service.

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Saudi Arabia had some cinemas in the 1970s but its powerful clerics closed them, reflecting rising Islamist influence throughout the Arab region at the time.

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