In January, Saudi Arabia celebrated the end of a 35-year ban on movie theaters with a public screening of The Emoji Movie. Considering that the movie has now been granted some historical significance because of this, it was kind of a shame at the time that Saudi Arabia didn’t pick something a little better. Thankfully, in a bit of a historical retcon, Saudi Arabia has made a much better choice for the first movie to actually screen in a dedicated movie theater since the ban was lifted: Black Panther.
According to Variety, an AMC-branded movie theater in Riyadh will start holding screenings of Black Panther on April 18, following a “gala premiere.” Originally built as a symphony concert hall, the new theater has 600 leather seats, a balcony level, and marble bathrooms, all of which are far too fancy for The Emoji Movie anyway. AMC is planning to open 40 more theaters within five years and 100 more by 2030, and multiple other movie companies are planning to build theaters as well.
Now, when 2030 finally rolls around, people in Saudi Arabia can look back on 2018 and remember that Black Panther made history, and nobody needs to remember that The Emoji Movie technically made history first.