Athens Open Air Cinema: Where to Go
Enjoying summer open air cinema in Athens is a classic city pastime that I hope never goes out of style here. Here are my favorite places to watch movies under the stars.
*Updated June 2017
Summer Open Air Cinema in Athens
I love movies and being in Athens come summertime means I get to watch them outdoors in some pretty great outdoor theatres. They’re unique seasonal venues, one of the things I love about living here. After all, there aren’t many places in the world that have so many of them. There are about 90 throughout the entire city. There’s something about sitting outside in the fresh night time air watching a new or classic film.
Where to Find Athens’ Outdoor Movie Theatres
I love how some theatres are in the oddest of places: tucked behind a random strip mall, set behind some inconspicuous warehouse, or – my favorite -centered out in a makeshift courtyard space between a few apartment buildings. You walk in and then voila there’s this adorable yard set up with dozens of seats, tables for snacks and the big screen up front. I always wondered if residents living right next to them get compensated for the noise or if they just enjoy a front row seat to the movies all season.
Open Air Cinema Experience
The best summer outdoor movie theatres are in the city center where I live. Some have outstanding views of the eternal Acropolis.
Another plus, which totally helped for my expat existence here, is the fact that movies played on the big screen in Greece keep their original language. So, for example, that new Leonardo DiCaprio movie is all in its glorious original English with excellent Greek subtitles (good for my ears and good for my Greek lessons). I can’t watch dubbed films! I know many countries in Europe do this as a standard.
If you’re looking for a fun local thing that Athenians do – and you love movies – head to one of the summer open air cinema choices in the Greek capital.
My Favorite Open Air Cinemas in Athens
With a direct view to the one and only Acropolis, I’d say Cine Thisseon is a classic summer open air cinema in Athens to check out. Showing films since 1935, it can be found on the paved walkway that connects Thission with Filoppapou Hill.
Cine Paris Plaka
But Thisseion isn’t the oldest. The very first open air cinema in Athens is Cine Paris which opened in the 1920. It’s right in the heart of Plaka and boasts a great view of the Acropolis as well. There’s a vintage theme to the place where old movie posters decorate the walls and are for sale.
Cine Aegli Zappeion
In one of the most central locations in town you’ll find the elegant Cine Aegli Zappeion, right next to the National Gardens and Zappeion neoclassical mansion. The pretty garden décor is refreshing.
In the central upmarket district of Kolonaki you’ll find the charming Cine Dexameni summer open air cinema. The movie theatre space seems a world away from the rest of the city, surrounded by trees and plants, tucked in a corner of pedestrian walkway.
Cine Psychiko Classique
Here’s another elegant open air movie option. Cine Psychiko Classique is located in a leafy suburb just a bit north of Athens.
Address: Kifissias 290 and Paritsi 2, Psychiko
If you’re staying in the Athenian Riviera, head to this beautiful summer open air cinema at Flisvos Park. Ever watch a movie with a gorgeous sea in the backdrop? You can do that in Greece!
Tips for Summer Cinema in Athens
- You will hear open air cinema in Greece called therino.
- I like looking up summer open air cinema times on www.athinorama.gr. The entertainment site doesn’t have a formal English translation, but you can just translate it to English (or your language of choice) on your browser.
- About 90 percent of the time movies shown in Greece have a 10-minute break right in the middle. It’s your chance to go to the bathroom, stretch your legs or get more popcorn at the refreshment stand.
Have you ever experienced open air cinema anywhere in the world? How about Athens? Feel free to comment below.
Plan Your Trip to Athens
How to Get to Athens
To get to the Athens, many international travelers arrive by air. You can find the best flight deals here on Vayama.
What to Do in Athens
Athens is my adopted hometown and much of this blog is about that very topic. Check out more posts from nightlife to gastronomy on this blog here. It’s a wonderful city break you should plan at least two to three days for — even up to a week — depending on how much time you have and what you’d love to do.
I highly recommend the Athens City Pass, a discount city card that gains you access to many of the capital’s most loved sights. I reviewed it earlier and featured it on this blog.
If you are planning to explore more of Greece and take a few amazing day trips, I can highly recommend is Avis Europe.
If you want to hop to the islands or spend time at one of the many Greek island destinations – you should! Also, check out my Greek islands category for the best places to stay, eat and best things to do. I only recommend places and experiences that I have tried and tested myself.
Where to Eat in Athens
Check out my post, 17 Awesome Greek Food Experiences which also lists where to find these delicious experiences in Athens.
Where to Stay in Athens
A full rundown of places I recommend coming soon. Bes sure to sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter here for more tips and insights from my travels around beautiful Greece and amazing Europe.
wow! How about the noise, how do they handle it? It looks cozy and fun though. 🙂 My open air cinema experience was when I was around 5 years old in a seminary school for pastors. They show christian movies in a big screen on summer. It was of course quiet because it was in the farm, mobile phones were not yet the center of entertainment for us. 😀
Yes, I know! I always wonder how they handle the cinema noise. I’ll find out one day. 😉 It is a nice way to spend an evening in the city. How interesting to have a cinema experience at seminary school. Days before mobiles… I can’t imagine my childhood with a mobile. So glad they weren’t around then. Thanks for sharing my dear!
Mary-the boondocks blog
Marissa I used to go to open air theaters when I was young. I would visit Greece and during the summertime , it was a common occurrence. I don’t go anymore although they are still prevailant. There is really nothing like them, the stars above and the sweet scent of the flowers in bloom all around. Marissa, I don’t know if you attend link parties, but if you do I am currently hosting one called Sweet Inspiration, right now and it is open to all bloggers. I would love to have you drop by.
Hi Mary, Yeah, you have to experience them to know. I really enjoy them and love that they are everywhere in Athens. I heard there used to be more… I’ll check out your link party. I have no idea what that is actually but I am intrigued!
Great piece! I love open air cinemas. Cine Paris by the Acropolis in Plaka is my favourite – but there’s always one in every Athenian neighbourhood.
My ‘local’ (when I come) has two within meters of each other!
Hey Bex, Thanks for the comments! Yes, Cine Paris is awesome. Ha! Two meters. That’s great… So random.
Mariska, great article. We love the theatres, particularly the amazing Thisseon. Regrettably the Paris closed last fall (I am afraid Forever). Hope we’re wrong.
Hi Skip, Thanks so much for the comment. I love them too! Cine Paris is still open and you can even go see a movie there tonight 🙂 Perhaps you mean it was closed for the fall/winter season. The open-air cinemas are only open seasonally during warm weather months and close when it is cold out understandably…
Hi! Thank you for the great post! Do you know if these cinemas are open in the Fall? We will be there in November and this is one of my favorite things to do in Athens in the summertime.
Hi Nancy, I don’t think so. The cinemas usually close once it gets cooler which it is about now…