Two years after its reopening, the historic Astor movie theater in the Korai Arcade off Panepistimiou Street continues to celebrate cinema with more films and cheaper tickets, as well as all-day screenings and a movie festival throughout November.
Greece’s first movie theater proper first opened in 1947 – when it premiered David Lean’s “Great Expectations” – and was a mainstay in the Greek capital until it shut down in 2005. It made a brief resurgence in 2010-12, but then closed again, and remained so until the movie distribution company Weird Wave took over, and gave it a proper facelift, did it open again on March 25, 2015. In a previous interview with Kathimerini, Thanasis Patsavos, the firm’s public relations manager, said that their goal was to promote smaller productions alongside their own films.
The area where the Astor is located has long been associated with moviegoing for Athenians. Some have kept going, but others, such as the Asty and the Attikon, are no longer in operation. The latter was one of the many buildings torched during anti-austerity riots in 2012 which ravaged the neighborhood.
“We wanted to create a relaxed environment at the Astor where people can enjoy a coffee before or after watching a movie,” Patsavos added. Greeks are still strapped for cash as the country remains mired in debt and the financial crisis continues, but the Astor is dedicated to increasing movie attendance with special events, such as that taking place this November.
Mondays to Fridays from 1 till 5 p.m., the Astor is showing select films by acclaimed directors and from international movie festivals. These movies will change on a weekly basis and general admission costs 3 euros. New movies will also be screened at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, with general admission costing just 5 euros.
In addition, between November 22 and 26, Astor will be hosting the Ethnofest 2017. The festival will feature ethnographic films from around the world, sharing the stories of people from different walks of life. Entrance for each screening costs 2 euros, or you can buy an all-day ticket for 5 euros. Admission is free for students and the unemployed.
A full schedule of all upcoming screenings can be found at www.astorcinema.gr.