Greece is on Cine Manto

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.


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