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What it was like to be at the historic Black Panther screening in Saudi Arabia

Black Panther became the first commercial film to be screened in the country in 35 years. Journalist Stephen Kalin was there.
Black Panther. (Disney)

Black Panther made headlines back in February when fans across North America bought up blocks of tickets and dressed in costumes to go see it in theatres. Now, the movie is in the news again because it's the first commercial film that audiences have seen in Saudi Arabia in 35 years. Yesterday, the country ended its ban on public movie screenings with a lavish screening of Black Panther at its first commercial cinema. Stephen Kalin, a senior correspondent at Reuters, is the journalist who broke the story. He joins Tom Power live on the phone from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to talk about the significance of this historic moment.

Produced by Vanessa Greco

In this Wednesday April 17, 2018 photo, Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, tours the King Abdullah Financial District Theater to follow up on preparations, a day ahead of the first public screening of a commercial film in more than 35 years in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia will hold a private screening of the Hollywood blockbuster “Black Panther” to herald the launch of movie theaters that are set to open to the public next month. (Center for International Communication via AP) (Centre for International Communication via AP)
In this Wednesday April 17, 2018 photo, people gather at the King Abdullah Financial District Theater a day ahead of the first public screening of a commercial film in more than 35 years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A private screening of the Hollywood blockbuster “Black Panther” will herald the launch of movie theaters that are set to open to the public next month. (Center for International Communication via AP) (Center for International Communication via AP)

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