One of the biggest news stories to come out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past few months was the reopening of cinemas in the country and now we have the official date as to when screens will go live.

Although it was reported in February that cinemas would likely reopen in the fourth quarter of the year, authorities announced overnight that the first cinema will open in Riyadh in the King Abdullah Financial District on April 18. They also said that 40 more cinemas across 15 Saudi cities are to follow in the next five years, according to Gulf News

American film company AMC Entertainment is responsible for the cinema roll-out in the Kingdom. "The granting of the first license marks the opening of very significant opportunities for exhibitors. The Saudi market is very large, with the majority of the population eager to watch their favourite films here at home," Awwad Alawwad, the Information Minister, said in a statement. 

The opening in Riyadh in two weeks marks the first time a cinema has operated in Saudi for 35 years. Time to get the popcorn. 

Now, read our interview with Saudi designer Mohammed Khoja of Hindamme on what the future of fashion looks like in the Kingdom