On the romantic Greek Island of Mykonos, Cine Manto is set in a botanical garden. Home to Mediterranean plants, lily-covered pools and a resident pelican named Petros, it is due to show films such as Captain Phillips and Gravity over the coming months. Between 10am and 2am, a stylish restaurant serves up breakfasts, barbecues, brunch and more, beneath a canopy of trees. A must for anyone visiting Chora, the largest town on this scenic Cycladic island.
On the island of Mykonos, Andonis Kioukas owns Cine Manto, which is about as perfect as a place can be without sitting atop Mount Olympus itself. “Mykonos is a labyrinth and this used to be jungle”, says Kioukas, shrugging at his surroundings as if they were just an average suburban garden, weeded and given a skin-deep spruce to encourage a quick sale. In fact, Cine Manto is quite possibly the most beautiful place in which you could hope to watch a film: it’s a botanical garden with a silver screen and director’s chairs.
Entering through one of those skinny island alleyways, the prospective moviegoer is greeted by a 200- year-old cactus resembling a redwood, well-sprung fish pond in which koi tamely play and a hand-built
cabana-style bar – well stocked with cocktails. Underfoot, clean white gravel crunches beneath holiday espadrilles and the scented smoke of souvlaki grill wafts the nostrils as couples and children prepare for the 21.00 show. Tonight it is an American animated feature that forms the arc light in which the month’s flutter and the bats swoop to catch them. It’s a picture. “Come into my office,” says Kioukas, leading us to a table beneath the artfully up-lit palms and pines. It’s a nice office. A laptop and a notebook are the only items that sully the general feeling that is, in fact, the best table in a good restaurant, within easy finger-clicking range of the barman and the grill chef.
The manna on offer: perfectly torched lamb, steak, boar sausage (and the best sort of taramosalata), fassolakia lathera and tzatziki trim mings. “I have 10.000 books in my library”, says Kioukas. “Books are for the spirit but a garden is for the soul”. As the beads of condensation run down MONOCLE’S chilled glass of Mythos, we find it hard -churlish even- to disagree. Cine Manto feels venerable but isn’t old. After quitting the Thessaloniki Film Festival and Athens Fashion Week (“There’s no such thing as Greek fashion,” he tells us; maybe this is why he quit), Kioukas returned to the island where he grew up to turn “the birds and the weeds” into a cinema in 2011. Before Mykonos was a young child in a poor suburb of Athens where he remembers stealing into the cinema in the 1960s to watch the audience’s faces. “They were laughing and crying,” he says. “I told my teacher I wanted to make films such that people couldn’t hide the way they felt.” In fact, when not teaching at the Thessaloniki Film School, this ponytailed Greek philosopher in a T-shirt and linen slacks tends to
mostly make people smile.
Words by Robert Bound
Open-air cinemas are a quintessential Greek summer delight. Where better but the islands to enjoy a Hollywood classic or the latest blockbuster under the stars?
You’d think that the strong smell of jasmine and the noisy songs of the cicadas – both heralding the start of yet another Greek summer – would distract you from silver-screen magic at an open-air cinema. On the contrary, the allure of catching a movie under a moonlit canopy – buttered popcorn and drinks at hand – is so potent that people are willing to forego Dolby surround systems and other technology. The concept of open-air cinemas is almost as old as film itself. In the early days, Greek cinema-
goers would gather at their local kafeneio (coffee shop) at central squares, to enjoy silent films with the accompaniment of gramophone music, laterna music boxes, live pianos or even orchestras. In their heyday, more than 700 exquisite outdoor cinema halls dotted the country;
they have now dwindled to around 120. The transformation of cities, the advances in cinema technology and the creation of multiplex venues have proved severely threatening towards this classic summer pastime. But here are ten reasons why, despite the progress and change, cinematic nostalgia continues luring island-goers on balmy summer nights:
Cine Manto is an oasis of serenity right in the middle of the municipal garden in the center of the main town, Chora. Lie in one of the hammocks under the towering pines, near the lily pond, where Petros the pelican (the mascot of Mykonos) likes to hang out. The restaurant here is worth a visit, too, as it offers superb dishes, and is open from 10:00 until 2:00 (after midnight). Films are screened at 21:00 and 23:00 in English, with Greek subtitles.
Need a break from the bars and clubs? Seek out this gorgeous open-air cinema in a garden setting. There’s a cafe here, too. Movies are shown in their original language; view the program online.
The therino (open-air cinema) is an integral part of Greek culture – there are few better ways to kick off a summer evening than watching a film at Cinema Manto under the stars while sipping a gin and tonic (you can smoke too, as it’s outdoors). Set in a walled garden with towering palm trees, fragrant pines, and cacti, the cinema shows films in original version with Greek subtitles – this summer’s program includes The Artist and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, plus the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, direct from London. Manto also works as an all-day cafe (with free wi-fi), offering a welcome escape from Mykonos’ busy waterside bars.
Apart from the open-air cinema, in the Garden, you will find the coolest cafe restaurant on the island, CINE MANTO CAFE RESTAURANT, surrounded by a beautiful garden with an ethereal atmosphere, and great food. It is open all day long, offering the pleasure of greenery, Greek breakfast, barbecue, drinks, brunch and assortments.
If you pass at midday you will be astounded by the atmosphere created from the dreamy fountains and the summer breeze that weaves through the trees. Cine Manto – Cafe Restaurant consists the perfect location for business gatherings or informal meetings. The whole establishment can host up to 200 seated people.
Book a table here!
Open 10:00am – 2:00am
Ioannis Alex. Meletopoulos (1903-1980) was born in Piraeus, to an upper class family. His father Alexandros was an acclaimed historian and although Ioannis worked as a lawyer for the Supreme Court of Greece, he followed in his father’s footsteps doing historical research himself. He was the organizer and for many years served as a curator at the Athens Historical and Ethnological Museum, housed in the building of the Old Parliament, and was one of the founders of the Hellenic Maritime Museum, while at the time he was Secretary General of the “Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece.
Ioannis Meletopoulos served as Secretary General of the “Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece” from 1967 to 1976 and curator of the National and Historical Museum. He was president of the Educational Council of the Piraeus Public Schools, a Municipal Advisor from 1947 to 1950 and a member of the Brotherhood of the Tzaneio Hospital of Piraeus. He was the founder of the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Founder and Grand Donor of the Municipal Library of Mykonos, on the square of Agia Kyriaki which he housed in the mansion of Campani in 1735, which was renovated by Meletopoulos. The Mykonos Library contains about 10,000 volumes of books donated by the historian Alexander Meletopoulos and other donors. Ioannis Meletopoulos was one of the founders and was elected the first president of the Monetary Society of Greece. He was proclaimed Honorary President and Grand Benefactor of the Hellenic Museum of Greece, Grand Benefactor of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, Honorary Citizen and Grand. He was an honorary citizen of Mykonos that is why there is, to this day, a street which bears his name. He generously donated to the people of Mykonos a garden full of trees and plants; located to the very centre of Mykonos town this magical garden today, is Cine Manto Mykonos.
Publications: “The Justice of Ephesus” (1936), “Judicial Board” “Piraeus” (1945), “The First Stage of the City of Piraeus” (1948), “Determination of the Gate of the Piraeus Circle”, “Leading for a Solution” ( 1949), “Antiquities of Piraeus Port” (1949), “Piraeus Antiquities” (1960), “The Guide to the National Historical Museum” (1964), “Pictures of the Struggle, I. Makrigiannis – P. Zografou” (1966 and 1972), “The Navy of the 21st” (1971), “The Second Biggest Explosion in Popular Iconography” (1973), “The Exhibition of Friendly History at the National History Museum” (1964), “Exhibitions-Pr. 1821 fighters’ frescoes at the National History Museum “(1971),” The Friendly Society – “P. Skekeri’s Beginning” (1967), “The Documents of the Otto-era”, “The Constitution of 1844” (1972) (1968), “Personals 1821 fighters of the National Historical Museum “(1976),” Gerasimos Pitsasman “(1976),” The History of Modern Greece in Popular Iconography “(1977),” Prominent Opinions “of Greeks and Foreigners about the Naval Navy” (1977) , “The Battle of Nafpaktos” (1978), “The Early Years of the Ottoman Era in Col. Berger’s Watermarks” (1976), “Popular Pictograms of English history in modern times “(1976),” Album of Greek history “(1976)
He was one of the editors of the old Great Greek Encyclopedia and a contributor to the Helios Encyclopedia.
a) In the Municipality of Piraeus: The family archive of him and his family, which became the basis of the Historical Archive of the city. Bronze statue of Themistocles, a Greek carving project that was placed in the space that was formerly the Clock. Bronze statue of “Eleftherios Venizelos”, also a work of Greek carving, which was placed in the garden opposite the Municipal Theater. The bronze bust of Admiral Andreas Myoulis, a work of the old carved Drosios, which was placed on the small square in front of the church of St. Spyridon, where it was once the home of Aquarius Admiral.
b) In the Piraeus Archaeological Museum: Its entire collection of 116 archaeological objects originating mainly from Piraeus.
c) At the Hellenic Maritime Museum: Fighters’ ellipses of 21 models of firearms, metals, documents, etc.
d) In the Municipality of Mykonos: Land for the construction of a reservoir as well as a tree estate in the center of the city, in which there is a wall, to serve as a municipal garden.
e) In the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece: Statues of Constantine Paleologos, George I and George Karaiskakis, and busts of: Papaflesa, Favierou, Myoulis and Papoula, sculpt the busts of Kriezouvon and Sreefon. Also various relics and accounts of the country’s struggles, documents, books, instruments, statues of Tsakalov. Armatolos, Evzoni and others.
g) Bronze busts of Gregory E, Kapodistrias and others at the Hellenic Museum of War.
Honors: Gold Cross of George I, silver medal of the Academy of Athens, gold medal of the municipality of Mykonos.
Honorary President and great benefactor of the Hellenic Museum of Greece, great benefactor of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, honorary citizen and great benefactor of Mykonos, whose name bears his name.
A magical night to support a mythical place. Magical music performed on a mythical island under the moonlight. On Monday, August 22nd a very special performance will take place on a very special island. The voice, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, one of Greece’s best contemporary folk singers; the lyrics, from the writing of Greek Nobel laureates and poets; the venue, the ancient island of Delos on the night of a summer full moon. And by attending this concert you will help benefit this UNESCO heritage site as the proceeds will go to restoration projects on Delos.
Petros the White Pelican is the official mascot of Mykonos. In 1954 a wounded pelican was found at the coast Mykonοs by a local fisherman. The pelican was nursed to health and remained on the island supported by locals. It soon adopted the name “Petros”, as a joke between the locals, as “petro” in Greek means “rock”, “stone” but metaphorically Old and Grumpy. Petros has always been a bit of an enigma as his species of pelican is not indigenous to the island or even the Aegean. To great dis-appointment by locals and tourists alike, Petros was hit by a car on 1985 and failed to recover. As the original bird had such popularity and seemed to have developed into the Mykonian Mascot, he was posthumously replaced and a female friend was added as well. Since then there is always a pelican on Mykonos who, honorifically, was given the name Petros. Petros the Pelican is certainly the most photographed persona on the island and resident symbol of both sea and sky for more than 60 years, escapes the Paparazzi in his own personal nest: Cine Manto Mykonos. You can find him on a given afternoon flapping hisfeathers, stretching his beak or just doing general preening in the center of town at the cinema, aka Meletopoulos’ Garden. Where does the island’s star go at night? Well, of course he wants to be in the company of other celebrities—the stars of the silver screen because he can’t resist a great flick too!
Everyday visitors to the island want to know how to get to the Windmills, Little Venice, Paradise Beach and the church of Paraportiani. These are easy photo ops and venues to see as they are locations. But when you want to find the island’s Star, if he is not feasting on fish in the early morning hours on the waterfront from the fishermen’s surplus, chances are you can find him in the garden. And of course, while there visitors can enjoy a lush oasis of flora and fauna, cool in the worst of the summer heat and protected from the raging northerly winds when they choose to blow.
At 25, she was the educated aristocrat who became a passionate rebel. In war she fought like a man, in love she was betrayed like a woman and even her country deserted her after she used her entire fortune to bankroll the revolution. Manto Mavrogenos, a Greek national, was born in Tieste (today’s Italy) in 1796. She had beauty and an aristocratic lineage. Her father, Nikos Mavrogenos, was an established merchant, from Paros. Her mother, Zacharati Hadjis Bati came from Mykonos. The family fled Greece after the beheading of her uncle, a dragoman for the Ottoman Empire.
She was educated and influenced by the western teachings of enlightenment; she was fluent in Italian, French and Turkish. The family returned to Paros in 1809 and became actively involved in the insurrection through the “Filiki Etairia.” At the outbreak of the revolution in 1821, Manto went to Mykonos. She outfitted two of her own ships and financed another 4 Mykonian vessels. Her fleet was the naval force of the Aegean warding off pirates and plunder. With a handful of men, she staved off an invasion from more than 200 Turks on the island. She financed an infantry of more than 800 men and personally joined the battle on the mainland in 1823. As the “Cause” fought on, she met Dimitri Ypsilanti, a main strategist and political force for the revolution. Eventually they shared not only their passion for the liberation of Greece but for each other as well.
They did not hide their relationship and when they were in camp during battles she shared Ypsilanti’s tent. As Greece celebrated victory and independence, Ypsilanti broke off his betrothal to Manto. Some accounts say that it was his men that actually issued an ultimatum that he be rid of this woman who was not a woman by the yardstick for men of this Anatolian culture. Other accounts say that Coletti, of Nafplio, tied her to Edward Blager, the Englishman who bought the first installment of the Greek debt because he feared the political strength of the union of Manto and Ypsilanti. In any case, she left Nafplio with a handful of personal possessions after her home was burgled and burned.
Ioannis Kapodistrias awarded her the title of lieutenant-general and she received a small stipend. She complained that the “benefit” was in the category of a war widow or injured disabled soldier, and it did not even suffice to cover her maid’s salary. She had been betrayed by Ypsilanti and her nation after all her sacrifice. She returned to Paros and lived with the last of her remaining relatives. She wrote her memoirs and lived quietly. She died penniless in 1840, at the age of 44 from typhoid fever. She was buried in the churchyard of the infamous Ekatontapyliani, just a few steps from the little house she last lived.
Eventually, an independent self-governing Greece recognized her tremendous contribution and personal sacrifice that led to the success of the revolution. There are two statues of Manto in Greece; a bust that sits at the south end of the Pedio Tou Aeros in central Athens as well as on her native Mykonos. She is honored with a full-form statue on the island’s central square, that bears her name and faces the waterfront. Most recently she was depicted on the copper 2 drachma coin issued in 2000. Several streets and town squares carry her name. Although she was a member of the “filiki eteria” and used her personal fortune to bring Greece to liberty it is interesting to point out that she would not have been eligible to vote in modern Greece until 1952, when women were granted the right to vote.
Her memory is celebrated in the arts in a 1971 film starring Jenny Karezi, a 12- episode television series that aired in the summer of 1983 staring Katia Danoulaki and most recently in 2011, a staged play in the city of Drama in Northern Greece. In Mykonos, she is affectionately remembered as “Capetanissa” (a female ship’s captain). Carrying her own sword and plunging into the front lines– battle after battle, either on land or at sea, MANTO was a true symbol of freedom. It is hard to imagine today that anyone, man nor woman, would be such a passionate patriot for their homeland.