In the summer, the majority of indoor cinemas close and open air cinemas take over. Other cities sometimes talk in outdoor cinemas - occasionally set up in parks in London - but in Greece they are a well-established feature of the evening entertainment scene and a must-have experience during each visit.
The set is usually very simple and apart from the technology nothing much has changed since the opening of the first outdoor cinema, "The Boboniera", 1919 in Kifissia. They are usually in what looks like a walled garden and often have huge and beautiful bushes of fragrant jasmine and bougainvillea that grow along their borders. The screen is at one end and is smaller than the ones you find in most indoor cinemas, but it's always more than adequate for its relatively small seating capacity. The chairs are usually tablecloths or plastic chairs of the kind you might find in any garden and have small tables dotted between them, where you can place what you buy from the small bar that is usually located in a corner somewhere.
The open-air cinemas return films that were released during the previous winter, show recaps of classic films and put on some new releases. While the movie can capture your attention completely, it's worth finding a few moments to watch your surroundings from your place. In Athens, what you see will vary greatly depending on which movie you go to. For example, if you go to Thiseion cinema on the fantastic pedestrian street of Apostolou Pavlou, you have the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic view of the Acropolis. In other movie theaters you may find yourself surrounded by multi-family houses with their rows of balconies above your head, decorated with colors reflected from the screen. It is a pretty surreal experience to watch a movie in close proximity to other people's homes and if you look closely you can even see one of the residents enjoying the movie with you, from a place on their balcony.
Foreign films, ie non-Greek movies, always appear in the original language with Greek subtitles, so you can watch all English-language movies without any problems. Movie viewing times are usually around 9pm and 11pm and the program changes on Fridays. There is always a break halfway through the film. For a few days during the summer, when you participate in the early screening, it may not be dark enough for you to be able to see the action on the screen properly during the first few minutes - this is bearable but with a bit of fuss. Entrance fees are about 7 euros. Enjoy!