A World Without Cinema: A Short History of Saudi Arabia’s 35 Year Cinema-Ban

Pim Razenberg on the changes in Saudi Arabia’s cinematic landscape…

What was the first movie you ever watched in theatres? Was it a family friendly animated film, or the action-packed blockbuster your father really wanted to see? For me, it was most probably Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1991. At the cuddleable age of four, me and my two older sisters were granted with something that has become increasingly rare in the modern world: the cinematic re-release of classic films. Over the course of a few years, our local cinema showed many of the films from Walt Disney’s Classics library, ushering us into the world of cinema.

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