Thision Open Air Cinema (Cine Thisio)

Apostolou Pavlou 7, Athina 118 51, Greece

Summer doesn’t officially start in Athens until the open-air cinemas open. Most neighborhoods have their local outdoor theaters, squeezed on empty plots between apartment blocks, sometimes even on the roof or in the park. The screen is usually framed by bougainvillea or jasmine, cats may wander nonchalantly down the aisles, the little bar might serve homemade ice cream or souvlaki skewers, and you can drink and smoke your way through the screening. One of the most enchanting outdoor cinemas in Athens is Cine Thisio, strategically placed on Apostolou Pavlou, the pedestrian promenade that runs below the Acropolis. Pick up homemade cheese pies, organic wine, or sour cherry cordial from the canteen and settle in for a vintage classic under the stars, with the illuminated Parthenon as a backdrop. There’s no more quintessential Athenian experience than this. (Except perhaps for a concert at the Roman Odeon of Herodes Atticus, just a little way up the street.) Open from early May to October, depending on the weather. There are two screenings every night, usually starting around 8.30–9 p.m. and 10.30–11 p.m.

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