Landmark Athenian theater gets state-of-the-art refurbishment

The celebrated Moussouri Theater’s curtain was raised for the very first time in Karytsi Square in December 1934. Originally known as the Aliki Theater, the venue is celebrating its 71st birthday and welcomes the new season with a renovated face. Freshly painted and with refurbished interiors, it is currently operating under the artistic direction of actor Petros Filippidis and the Theatriki Estia production company (the theater is owned by D. Vardinoyiannis). «Comfortable seats on all levels, elevated floors for better viewing no matter where you’re sitting, special sound-proofing systems,» are but some of the new features, said Fillipidis at a recent press conference to present the many and substantial transformations which «are not obvious at first glance, but become visible to anyone inside the theater.» Included in the plans of Theatriki Estia (besides the Moussouri, the production company also manages the Ivi Theater) is the presentation of a varied repertory with the participation of established as well as up-and-coming actors. Fillipidis returns to the Moussouri stage this season, both as an actor and a director, in Anthony Neilson’s «The Wonderful World of Dissocia,» which opened for the second year last week. Joining the actor on stage are Pavlos Haikalis, Ilias Logothetis and Melpo Zarocosta, among others. The theater’s original name, Aliki, was in honor of founder Costas Moussouris’s wife, the esteemed actress Aliki Theodoridou, daughter of the celebrated Kyveli. Convinced that actors and audiences should enjoy great comfort when working or attending theater productions, Moussouris nearly pulled the entire theater down in 1951. Following the first renovation, prominent artists Nikos Nikolaou offered Moussouris an admirable painting still hanging on the wall of the theater’s entrance. Besides its refurbishment, it was around this time that the theater was renamed the Costas Moussouris Theater – following its founder’s death it was known as the Moussouri Theater. Since its establishment, the Moussouri stage has welcomed a full gamut of Greek actors in a broad repertory.