In this April 18, 2018 file photo, visitors attend a cinema theatre during an invitation-only screening, at the King Abdullah Financial District Theater, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
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After repealing a decades-long ban on cinemas only last year, Saudi Arabia has now launched an ambitious drive to become a culture and entertainment hub as part of sweeping modernization plans.American film star Katie Holmes and British actor-cum-director Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with Saudi officials, as the conservative kingdom on Thursday night kicked off an initiative to invest 130 billion riyals ($34.7 billion, 29 billion euros) in culture and leisure by 2020 .Key projects include 16 entertainment complexes, an aquatic center and three other huge leisure hubs -- all part of a bid to ensure three Saudi cities make it into the global top 100 for quality of life.
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