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Culture Express > News Video

The allure of Greek summer cinemas

CCTV.com

08-19-2014 09:40 BJT

In summer, open-air cinemas become a part of everyday life in Greece. This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie theaters in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century. 

Just like his father before him, 86-year-old Mathaios Potogas places film reels in position at the Palace open air cinema on a rooftop in an Athens neighborhood. For more than 60 years, its bells have been prompting audiences to take their seats and enjoy the spectacle.

This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie theaters in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century.

This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie theaters
in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century.

"Open-air cinemas definitely remain one of the most loved forms of entertainment for the Greeks. Greeks love outdoor cinemas more than their winter counterparts. They anxiously wait for summer to come because that's when the open-air cinemas will commence,” said Mathaios Potogas, Palace cinema owner. 

Outdoor cinemas thrived in the 1960s, with more than 600 in operation in Athens alone. There are just 90 now in the capital, but open air movie screenings are still an important leisure activity.

"A good thing about open-air cinemas is that it takes you out of the house and into nature. It takes you to the sky, it takes you to the moon. And that, I believe is something very fitting with the nature of Greeks,” a resident named Nikos Voudouris said.

Many believed the introduction of multiplexes in the 1990s would wipe out open air cinemas, but that has not happened.

"People prefer outdoor cinemas, everyone tells us. They let time go by for summer to come and watch the films they missed during the winter. They truly love it,” said Maria Kotira, co-owner, Oasis Cinema.

Although many outdoor cinemas have upgraded their equipment to play new film releases, sound and image quality can still leave something to be desired. But after years of austerity, the outdoor film experience provides a welcome escape for Greek movie-goers. 

 

This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie theaters in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century.

This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie theaters
in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century.

This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie theaters in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century.

This year, there are around 90 terraces and gardens serving as open-air movie
theaters in Athens, a well-loved tradition for nearly a century.

 

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