Saudi Arabia has announced it will lift a ban on commercial cinemas that has lasted more than three decades.
The ministry of culture and information said it would begin issuing licences immediately and that the first cinemas were expected to open in March 2018.沙特阿拉伯文化和新闻部表示，将开始发放电影院运营许可证。首批电影院将于明年3月开放。
The measure is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 social and economic reform programme.
As recently as January, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al al-Sheikh reportedly warned of the "depravity" of cinemas, saying they would corrupt morals if allowed.据报道，今年1月，伊斯兰教的宗教领袖大穆夫提阿布都阿齐兹教长提醒说，电影院是“邪恶的“，会导致人们道德堕落。
A statement issued by the culture ministry on Monday said the decision to license cinemas was "central to the government’s programme to encourage an open and rich domestic culture for Saudis".沙特阿拉伯文化和新闻部周一发布的声明表示，允许开办电影院的决定“是政府鼓励沙特人享有公开丰富的国内文化生活计划中的重要一环。“
This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the Kingdom, Culture Minister Awwad Alawwad said.沙特文化部长阿瓦德说：“这是沙特文化经济发展的一个分水岭。“
Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification; by developing the broader cultural sector we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the kingdom’s entertainment options.“开放影院将是经济增长和多元化的催化剂。通过发展更为广泛的文化部门，我们将创造出更多就业和培训机会，并丰富沙特的娱乐选择。“
The ministry said the move would open up a domestic market of more than 32 million people and that it anticipated there would be more than 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens by 2030.该部门表示，沙特电影院的国内市场受众超过3200万人，预计到2030年，沙特将有超过300家影院，荧屏数量达到2000块。