NEWS

Old venues closing or turning into hybrids

I recently heard someone on television claim that bouzouki clubs are a typical Greek form of entertainment, and so their transformation into «skiladika» should be listed for preservation. We should keep them, with all the flower-throwing, glitter and reveling smokers in the front row. I’m not arguing with this claim, but I do wonder why nobody finds equal fervor to defend the summer cinema as typical of Greek city summers. Shouldn’t they be listed for preservation, with their gravel, greenery and glimpses of the starry sky? As Athens expands, its cinemas will inevitably change. The place is full of mutiplexes, which I find an appalling experience, like watching an immature teenager’s party – all chips, sodas, hair gel and fringes in the eye – from an analyst’s couch. As for summer cinemas, they are either disappearing (though no one says so), or degenerating into cinema-somethings – cinema-ouzeris, cinema-roof gardens, cinema-snack bars, with cement (gravel isn’t kind to high heels), and planter pots that match the chairs. In vain I seek the fragrance of honeysuckle and jasmine. Sometimes I get a whiff of souvlaki grilling in the background and find it as annoying as the reek of popcorn that pervades the multiplexes. Luckily, a few summer cinemas remain almost unchanged by time. I choose to go to these. In winter I choose the film, in summer the cinema, regardless of what’s on. To my mind, summer cinema is not the film; it never was. It’s the atmosphere. It’s enjoying a little evening freshness after a hot day, relaxing with a beer, without talking. Just gazing, sometimes at the screen, sometimes at the moon. (1) T. Antoniadou is a teacher.