Of 28 original theaters, only eight remain

In the early 1980s, there were no fewer than 28 cinemas in the area around Patission Street. Now, only eight remain, including the Lido Alfa, Stella, Lila, Metropol and Elektra. About half of these – the Stella, Lila, Metropol and Elektra – are summer open-air theaters. The City of Athens now runs the Stella Theater. At the wintertime theaters, the numbers tell a much more dramatic story. Of those 20 original theaters, only five – the Aello, Alexandra, Ilion, Trianon and Philip – are still operating. Another that closed its doors last year was the emblematic Radio City – where in 1958 Elizabeth Taylor once watched the Athenian premiere of the movie «Around the World in 80 Days» along with her husband and the film’s producer Mike Todd. The 11 theaters that have closed include the Broadway, Angela, Pigal, Select, Atthis, Alkyonis, Aloy, Amalia, Achilleas, Armonia and Attiki (remodeled in the former Chora theater). Most were on the first floor or in the basement of anonymous-looking apartment buildings, so none of them stood out in an architectural sense amid the sameness. The only exception was the lovely and elegant Angela Theater, which had a strong art deco influence. It closed down a few years ago.