Cinema under the stars of Attica!
A delightful summer companion in Attica that beautifies our evenings with the colours of the twilight and the aromas of the flowers, with wonderful flavours and refreshing drinks. And movies. Countless movies that we all love, in the glowing light of the stars and the summer moon. Meet Attica’s open–air cinemas. The sweet summer addiction, an extraordinary experience worth living!
Summer outdoor cinemas have a certain character, their own individual style, a particular nostalgic aesthetic and a special place in everyone’s heart. They are an indispensable element of summer in Attica, a lasting value with an enchanting aura, which survives through time.
The first open-air projection spaces in Attica opened in the early 20th century (1903), launching a new combination of cinema and night entertainment. The trend of summer outdoor cinemas serving drinks, cocktails and food started about 100 years ago, when summer cinemas had free entry and charged the audience only for the drinks and food they consumed.
Entry fees were launched twenty years later, when open-air cinemas were well-established and spread, only to reach their peak during the postwar period! By the ’60s, summer cinemas had become people’s favourite habit in Attica, with 320 outdoor cinemas running in Athens, Piraeus and the suburbs alone!
With the advent and rise of television, VHS, home cinema and multiplex, open-air cinemas began to decline, nonetheless maintaining their mystique and special place in the heart of Attica’s citizens and visitors, avid cinephiles or not.
Today, Athens is among the cities that host the greatest number of summer cinemas in the world. They have been declared protected, carrying the city’s traditions and history, with their unspoiled atmosphere and authentic character. Summer cinemas are refreshing oases, reference and meeting points in the neighbourhoods of Athens, in parks, squares and rooftops with magnificent views.
Strolling around Attica – from Athens’ historical centre, the neighbourhoods and suburbs of the city, to the nearby Saronic islands – will definitely bring you to the doorstep of a magical cinematic world that unfolds under Attica’s sky. You will identify the place from the film posters with the day’s screenings at the entrance. Don’t think twice! Walk through the grit stone and pick your seat. Before you sink in the comfortable wood-framed and fabric chairs (or even deckchairs!), stop at the bar for the must-have “supplies”. Here, it is not just popcorn and soft drink; choose from a vast variety of flavours, such as ice cold homemade fruit juices and refreshing cocktails, freshly baked cheese pie, delicious souvlaki as well as meze (small plates) accompanied by ouzo or tsipouro!
The table next to you being properly “equipped”, you can now enjoy the film that is starting: premiere movies or classics, American or European cinema, it all depends on your personal preferences. Under the starry sky, surrounded by the colours of the rose bush and the bougainvillea, with the intoxicating aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle filling the air! In Attica you even have the chance to watch your favourite movie in a private screening, since there are summer cinemas with exclusive decks.
In Plaka, Psyrri and Kolonaki or in Zappeion that hosts the oldest summer cinema in Athens, and in Thission, with a breathtaking view of the illuminated Parthenon. Here, on Areopagitou pedestrian street, you will find the historic outdoor cinema that has been featured in the top media networks of the world – it has even been recommended by CNN as the most beautiful cinema worldwide. Summer nights at Athens open-air cinemas have a kind of magic and a nostalgic feel of older times that carry you away!
From brisk Kifissia, with its atmospheric spaces surrounded by trees, to the foot of Mount Egaleo with panoramic views of the entire Attica Basin, and Paleo Faliro right by the sea, Attica’s outdoor cinemas create a wonderful summer scenery that awaits you for a night out, offering a complete experience that goes way beyond a mere movie screening.
On the Saronic islands – Agistri, Aegina, Poros, Spetses and Hydra – days begin with refreshing swims in the sea and end in the most wonderful way, watching your favourite film in romantic and quiet outdoor cinemas that have a unique summer feel.
In Attica, open-air cinema is so loved by everyone that it has its own festivals. Don’t miss the very popular Athens Open Air Film Festival that begins every year in June and lasts all summer, with free screenings in the neighbourhoods of Athens and Attica! For French cinema enthusiasts, the Open-Air French Film Festival takes place from June to September in Athens, while if you are fortunate enough to be in Aegina in August, join in the majestic outdoor screenings at the Aegina Film Festival.