Ahead of opening day on Monday, open-air movie theaters in Athens are putting the finishing touches in their venues, tidying up, disinfecting, pruning the plants and arranging the seating so there’s a distance of at least 1.5 meters between members of the audience.
In the first phase of the lifting of restrictions on such spaces, 22 movie theaters will be opening their doors to the public in Athens and eight in other parts of the country on Monday, with more perhaps following on Thursday, the customary day for new releases. Until then, cinema owners and distributors will be relying on films – mostly Greek ones – that did well during the winter season, before the coronavirus put on a lockdown on all entertainment.
Aigli in Halandri, along with Alex, Karmen, Cine Flisvos and the Trianon will be launching the summer season with Yiannis Economides’ Greek dark comedy “Ballad for a Pierced Heart,” set in the countryside during a major heatwave.
Aigli in the Zappeion Gardens in downtown Athens, Ster Cool Tymvos, Akti, Amyntas, Attikon Alsos and Marilena will be screening another Greek film, Angelos Frantzis’ biopic “Eftychia,” on the life of the pioneering songwriter Eftychia Papagiannopoulou. It sold 700,000 tickets in its first run over the winter season.
Cine Psychiko, Anoixis, Laoura and Panathinaia are going for Oscar gold, launching the summer season with Bong Joon-ho’s Academy Award-winning Korean comedy-drama “Parasite.”
The French romantic comedy-drama “La Belle Epoque” will be the curtain-raiser at Cine Alexandra, while the monumental Czech war drama “The Painted Bird” by Vaclav Marhoul will set the tone at Stella in Kypseli.
Most cinemas will be holding just one screening per night for the time being, as opposed to the customary two, beginning at between 8.45 and 9.15 p.m.