Hours after Saudi Arabia lifted a long-standing ban on cinemas across the kingdom on Monday, thousands celebrated the news on Twitter. 

But there were also those who negatively reacted to the entire thing, via a now-viral hashtag, labeling the move unacceptable in Islam and "a way to promote vice in the country."

The hashtag sparked a heated debate on Twitter and saw thousands powerfully hit back at critics of the decision. 

Here's how the controversy played out online: 

As the hashtag trended, people shared things like this

"Cinema is unacceptable in Islam and promotes vice. Did cinema help Egypt develop? No. Did it help advance Tunisia? No. Lebanon? No. Syria? No. Iraq? No. Then why are you so happy over this? Calling it an achievement and a sign of development!!"

Some went even further, tweeting this out...

"A nation that builds mosques cannot have people going to movie theaters; there are two opposites that can never meet."

But no one was really having any of it

Is this hashtag for real now?

People just couldn't even...

Many hit back with humor

And memes of course...

"This is such a moving statement... but I am unmoved."

Others raised this point...

"Anything new must face opposition from a few people, but with time, they'll get used to it and condone it. There are so many examples of this... mobile phones, cameras, and the internet were all opposed by many and seen as unacceptable by others, but everyone's using them today." 

Just think of it like this...

Simply put...

"Simply put, people who don't like going to the movies are free not to! But going down the line of (society condemns this and wants to forcefully ban it?!) I'd just like to say, it's too late for you now."

"Scream on Twitter as much as you want, Cinemas are coming whether you approve of them or not"

Saudi's entertainment scene is transforming under Vision 2030

The decision to lift the ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia wasn't surprising to many, given that it was speculated for months. 

The move comes at a time when the kingdom's entertainment industry is making significant strides under the guidance of the country's General Authority for Entertainment. 

In 2016, and under Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an ambitious blueprint that has led to major transformations in the country, Saudi Arabia established the Entertainment authority.

Headed by Amr al-Madani, the government body aims to enhance the cultural and entertainment sector within the country.

In early January, Al Madani stated that the ban on cinemas will be lifted in the country, revealing that movie theaters were expected to open soon. 

His statements, which were a signal of a new era for entertainment in the country, have finally been confirmed.

It's important to note that several musical events and concerts organized by the authority also faced opposition and backlash on social media, but went ahead as planned.