Cinemas in Saudi Arabia

Cinemas are officially banned in KSA and people go over to Bahrain or UAE to watch movies in person (or buy pirated versions of all movies for home viewing).

Interestingly, last week the movie “Manahi”  was shown in Jeddah and Taif. It was a HUGELY successful and popular event that ran for some 10 days. The head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of  Vice, Abdullah Al-Gaith spoke out against it: “Our position on this is clear – ban it. That is because cinema is evil and we do not need it. We have enough evil already.”

What is odd is the about-face that showed up in today’s news. The official comment is now  “We are not against having cinema if it shows the good and does not violate Islamic law”.

“Manahi” was produced by Rotana Holdings, a media company owned by Prince Waleed bin Talal. The next movie,“Eyal Manfouha,” also by Rotana is already in the works.

This is one more indicator that the wind of change is blowing. It would be better if KSA started developing a good media/movie censoring/cleaning-up board that can set standards for what can and cannot be shown, and how to allow movies from Europe, USA and Asia to be shown. Resistance is futile- it’s a matter of time before assimilation is complete (don’t you love hijacking corny lines from Star Trek?)

UAE has already started investing in becoming the next Hollywood/Bollywood and given the global economy there is a huge chance that “Dollywood” will succeed to some extent. Maybe Jollywood (from Jeddah) will give Dollywood a run for their money in the future…

5 Responses

  1. […] welcomes the move: Cinemas are officially banned in KSA and people go over to Bahrain or UAE to watch movies in […]

  2. […] يرحب بالخطوة: دور العرض محظورة رسمياً في المملكة العربية السعودية، […]

  3. cinema should remain banned. Whether good or bad, it is haram in any form.That is “We have enough evil already.”
    ya ksa can establish a good media which put things clear about the views of saudi people!

  4. not everyone considers cinema to be haram. it is no different than tv, the internet or books- the content determines how good or bad it is, not the method of communication.

  5. this is very depressing. Define good cinema? or a good program?

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