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Chadwick Boseman

Source: Marvel Studios / Marvel Studios

The enormous success of Marvel’s Black Panther has pushed it to become a literal global phenomenon, and the film is also shattering a longstanding ban in the country of Saudi Arabia. The smash hit will make its debut April 18 in the nation via a partnership with the AMC chain.

The Guardian reports:

According to reports, the Marvel blockbuster will receive a gala premiere in Riyadh on 18 April as part of a deal done by US theatre chain AMC that will see 40 cinemas open in Saudi cities over the next five years.

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.

In 2017, the government said it would lift the ban as part of ambitious economic and social reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He is currently touring the US seeking investments to broaden the economy and lessen its dependence on oil.

The theater itself would be fit for King T’Challa himself. Opening in the King Abdullah financial district, the theater will feature 500 leather seats, marble bathrooms, and other amenities.

Photo: Marvel/Disney

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