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Lights, Camera, Athens! Top 3 Open-Air Cinemas for an Unforgettable Summer

Imagine this: balmy summer evenings, the gentle buzz of cicadas, and the intoxicating scent of jasmine filling the air. You settle into a comfy chair beneath a sky sprinkled with stars, a giant screen glowing in front of you. This isn't a dream; it's a quintessential Athenian summer experience at a "therino sinema" (open-air cinema).

Get ready to be dazzled by our top picks for an unforgettable open-air movie adventure:


1. Cine Paris: Where Romance Meets History

Cine Paris open air cinema - Acropolis View

Nestled in the heart of Plaka, perched on the rooftop of a charming neoclassical building. It boasts breathtaking views of the illuminated Acropolis, making it the perfect setting for a romantic date night.The cinema's rich history adds another layer of charm. Originally established in 1920, it has undergone various transformations before finding its current home. Today, it thrives under the guidance of the popular Greek film streaming platform Cinobo. Don't forget to check out the charming kiosk selling retro film posters next to the ticket booth!


Cine Paris open air cinema


2. Thision Open Air Cinema: A Cinematic Gem with Acropolis Views


Thision Open Air Cinema

Built in 1935, it has been recognized by CNN Travel as one of the best movie theaters globally. Located on the pedestrian-friendly Apostolou Pavlou street, it exudes a cozy and traditional atmosphere, offers a truly magical setting to enjoy a movie under the stars. Prepare to be awestruck by the magnificent Acropolis bathed in the golden glow of twilight as you settle in at Thision Open Air Cinema.


3. The Pool Your Cinema at Hotel Grande Bretagne: Luxury Under the Stars


The Pool Your Cinema at Hotel Grande Bretagne

Indulge in pure luxury at The Pool Your Cinema, the rooftop summer cinema experience offered by the historic Hotel Grande Bretagne. Nestled on the 7th floor, this rooftop oasis offers stunning views of Lycabettus Hill and the sparkling city lights. Unwind in plush lounge chairs and savor a curated selection of finger foods by Executive Chef Asterios Koustoudis while enjoying All-time classic favorites and Hollywood blockbusters on the big screen.


Tips for the Perfect Open-Air Cinema Experience:

* Embrace subtitles: Movies in Greece are typically shown with subtitles, not dubbed, allowing you to enjoy a wider variety of films.

* Plan your visit: Open-air cinemas usually operate from May to October. Ticket prices generally range up to 10 euros.

* Beat the heat: Opt for late-night screenings (around 11 pm) between June and August, as the evenings are still quite bright earlier in the night.

* Embrace the charm: Open-air cinemas prioritize atmosphere over technical perfection. Expect comfortable seating (director's chairs or lounge chairs) and a basic sound system.


A Historical Legacy:

Cinema arrived in Greece in 1896, and the first open-air screenings took place in the bustling cafes of Syntagma Square just a few years later. These early screenings were free and incredibly popular, leading to a boom in open-air cinemas (over 500 cinemas were operating in Attica 1960s). Today, Athens boasts 65 unique outdoor cinemas, from city-run to privately owned, these open-air cinemas can be found tucked away in parks, along the seaside, or even in hidden courtyards amidst apartment buildings.

So, grab your popcorn, choose your adventure, and get ready to experience the magic of Athenian summer nights under the stars!


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