Summer cinema

Summer in Greece!  After the corona-months, definitely something to look forward to! Beautiful beaches, blue water, white houses and unforgettable sunsets spontaneously pop into your mind. Without a doubt, it is a very nice part of the Greek summer. But what if you don’t go to a Greek island or somewhere close to the sea? Is there anything to do in the cities? Of course, there are plenty of options! One of them is a romantic one: the summer cinema. 

Since we are a Greek Language School, let’s clarify first the Greek word for outdoor cinema in Greece: θερινό σινεμά [therinο sinema]. For those of you who speak some Greek, ” θερινό ” might seem like a strange word, since in modern Greek we use the word καλοκαίρι for summer. Το καλοκαίρι (to kalokairi), noun/ καλοκαιρινός, -η, -ο (kalokairinos), adjective. As you might have guessed, the adjective “θερινός,-η, -ο”” does not come from Modern Greek, but from the Ancient Greek word “το θέρος”. So the adjective “therinos” is still used in Modern Greek as well, in specific situations, such as Θερινό σινεμά, θερινό σχολείο (summer school).

For the “cinefiles“, Director and writer Nikos Theodosiou described the history of the summer cinema in Greece in his book “Στα παλιά τα σινεμά“. (see photo)
Needless to say, the word “cinefile” comes from the Greek words “cinema” and “filos” (=friend).

This being said, we move on to the subject itself. Α “summer cinema” is an outdoor movie theater: an open space, usually surrounded by trees and plants, a big screen, a lot of chairs , some tables to put your drinks on and usually a clear sky with stars above your head. Simple but magic.

The outdoor movie theatres were at the height of their glory in 50s and 60s. There was a period of decline when multiplex indoor cinemas dominated. Lately however, the outdoor cinemas are very fashionable again.

The fame of the Greek outdoor movie theater even spread out of Greece. In 2013, the travel guide of the American net CNN placed the outdoor movie theatre “Cine Thisio” on the top of the list with the 10 best movie theatres worldwide. According to the American reporter: “From your seat at Cine Thisio you not only get to view the latest blockbuster but also the Acropolis and the Parthenon that sits on top. The best view is at night”.

The outdoor movie theatres are open from May/June (depending on the weather) till the end of September. You will find them not only in Athens but also in every town of Greece. A nice idea for your next trip to Greece!

Note: And of course one of the most beautiful ones, is in the heart of Hermoupolis, on the island of Syros 🙂  (see also photo above)

For an overview of the summer cinemas in Athens, have a look at this article:

Furthermore there is the Athens open air Film Festival:



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