RIYADH - Hollywood superstar John Travolta, best known for his roles in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease,” was extended a very warm welcome in Riyadh on Friday as he made his first-ever appearance in the Kingdom to discuss his career and Hollywood.
The actor, 63, discussed his journey to fame during his talk at the Apex Convention Center.
He responded to questions from the audience on various aspects of his career. Organizers told Arab News that the free event was full to capacity with 2,000 people.
Yasser Mohammad, a student at King Saud University
(KSU), told Arab News: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see Travolta here. He has come all the way to Riyadh. Thank you GEA (the General Authority for Entertainment) for this big event.”
Abdurrahman Al-Dayl, another KSU student at the event, told Arab News: “The GEA is doing tremendous work. It’s good to see it hosting successful local and international events, transforming the entertainment landscape in the Kingdom in such a short time.”
Saleh Abdul Wahed, a data analyst, said more Hollywood celebrities should be invited to the Kingdom.
Commenting on the reopening of cinemas from next year, he told Arab News: “It’s a welcome decision by the government.”
Praising the GEA’s efforts, Ibrahim Basha, a Saudi social media influencer who filmed Travolta’s arrival on Snapchat, said: “Can you imagine he’s come all the way to Riyadh in his private plane?”
Faris Al-Shammari tweeted that Travolta is “the highest-paid actor in the world, no one can compete with him.”
Abdal Otaibi tweeted: “It’s possible that he’s here to talk about cinema and how Saudi could benefit from cinemas now.”
Many used the hashtag #John_Travolta_in_Riyadh to mention their favorite Travolta films. Malak picked “The General’s Daughter,” tweeting: “It’s one of his best films. Still lives in my memory and there’s no other film that portrays betrayal in relationships and its effects on a person like it.”
Travolta’s stay in Riyadh included visiting tourist, cultural and entertainment locations.