Cinema under the Stars
Nothing defines the beginning of Greek summer as open-air cinemas do. Every neighbourhood has one – some with a view of the Acropolis; others, right on the water and still others surrounded by perfumed gardens that fill the sultry evening with the quintessential Greek fragrance of orange blossoms and jasmine. With over 60 open-air cinemas to choose from in Attica alone, it is a Greek summer tradition that is truly alive and well. Having survived the crisis and real-estate developers, summer cinemas with their director’s chairs and their compelling aroma of crackling popcorn, open-air cinemas are a truly democratic space, where you can sip on a frappe, knock back a couple of icy beers while propping up your feet on the seats ahead. Here’s a round-up of Insider’s favourite summer cinemas.
For a fun evening by the sea, Cine Flisvos is a great open-air option where you can have a long walk on the marina’s promenade admiring the yachts. An added plus is easy parking and several after-movie drinks and dinner options in the Flisvos Marina complex.
Cine Flisvos, Parko Flisvou, Palaio Faliro. Tel: 210.982.1256
Urban legend has it that it was a Greek hairdresser who named the outdoor cinema after her beloved Paris. It briefly closed down in the late ‘60s before re-opening again in 1986. It has been regaling movie fans since with Greek and international hits. Located in the Plaka, it is a beloved of tourists and Athenians alike and has retained its magical old-world charm.
Cine Paris, Kidathinaion 22, Plaka. Tel: 210.322.2071, 210.324.8057
So named after the cistern that it sits on that once supplied water to all of Athens, Dexameni square is a cool, green city-square with an open-air cinema that has an island-like look and feel. With white-washed cobbled pavements, labyrinthine alleys and cascading bougainvillea, Dexameni is a great setting to spend a lazy, hazy, crazy summer evening.
Dexameni, Dexameni Square, Kolonaki. Tel: 210.362.3942, 210.360.2363
Built in 1935, Cine Thissio remains the undisputed queen of open-air cinemas. Voted by CNN’s Hoishan Chan as ‘the best movie-theatre in the world for being as interesting as the movies it shows’, Cine Thissio has a majestic view of the floodlit Acropolis and is located just a few hundred meters down the pedestrian path from the ancient Herodus Atticus theatre.
Cine Thissio, Stolou Pavlou 7, Thisio. Tel: 210.342.0864, 210.347.0980
Park your Cinema at SNFCC
Each summer season, the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre hosts its hugely-popular Park Your Cinema free open-air screening series on their Great Lawn, offering Athenian film buffs the chance to discover, or enjoy on a big screen for the first time, cult classics and family favourites – from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Finding Nemo – that have offered indelible moments of fun around the world for decades..
Park your Cinema at SNFCC, Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea, Tel: 216.809.1000, visit www.snfcc.org
Al fresco cinema near the seaside adds an extra summer garnish at this bright and breezy garden cinema in central Varkiza that’s one of the southside’s loveliest (especially when the roses are in full bloom!).
Afroditis 8, Varkiza, tel: 210.897.0844, www.cineria.gr