Athens International Film Festival
aiff

Farewell to our beloved IDEAL cinema: 25 highlights from the night the cinema died

In a monumental event of immeasurable emotion, marking an unjust end of an era for the most beloved movie theater in Athens: This is how the lights of IDEAL cinema went out in front of more than 800 spectators, with tears in their eyes, sweeping applause and the conviction of those who were there that they participated in a historic evening. Cinemagazine.gr reports what happened on Friday, December 29th , during the last screening ever held at the (now) unforgettable cinema at 46 Panepistimiou Street.

 

With a card that appeared on the screen saying "GOODBYE TO OUR IDEAL 1921-2023" and with the symbolic music of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" playing loudly in the movie theater amidst loud applause, the sad end credits rolled for the most historic cinema in Athens. A magnificent landmark, adored by millions of spectators, which is forced to stop its crowded screenings forever and be turned into a hotel. This is the event that culturally sealed 2023 in the most bitter way.

The photos and videos taken during that unforgettable Friday evening can in no way convey the emotional charge, the indignation and sadness of so many spectators, the electricity in the packed movie theater (with plenty of people occupying even the floors), the overwhelming farewell applause by more than 800 people who rose from their seats, the tears in the eyes of so many people who had been visiting the movie theater from early on in the afternoon bringing gifts, sweets and bottles of wine - the least they could do, as one elderly lady told us, 'for an almost sacred space to which we owe so much'.

However, the photos are all we have left on this last day of the year, having definitively lost the most important cinema in Athens, which despite its 102 years of operation did not stop attracting hundreds of spectators until its last hour.

In the following snapshots, apart from the people who blocked the pedestrian street of Panepistimiou and later filled the cinema, you will see:

Angelos Antonopoulos, designer of the imposing murals of the cinema, returning 32 years after the completion of his works and signing them for the first and last time.

-The whole "family" of IDEAL cinema on stage for a final bow.

- The Artistic Director of the Athens International Film Festival, Loukas Katsikas, introducing one by one to the audience the members of the staff who for decades offered their service with unparalleled courtesy. From Ms. Fotini in cleaning and Ms. Olga in the cafeteria to the 43 years tireless manager of the cinema, Mr. Yannis Papanikolaou, the legendary cashier Ms. Aristea Chiotis, the 90-year-old projectionist Mr. Lazaros, his worthy successor to this day, Mr. Kostas Spanos, and of course the three Spentzos brothers and their children.

The applause of more than 800 standing up spectators.

Two shots from "Pulp Fiction", a farewell screening organized by the Athens International Film Festival, concluding the sold out tribute to its favourite cinema.

The finale with the farewell card, just before the huge screen goes off forever.

IDEAL will not be forgotten. It will firmly belong to the eternal cultural monuments of the capital and our country. We are forever grateful to it.

Photo Credits: Neoklis Kastrinos



    Publication date: 2023-12-31 12:50:30

    READ MORE

    The Athens International Film Festival presents the brand new, 30th Anniversary Restoration of «Interview with the Vampire» in an exclusive screening

    The Athens International Film Festival presents the brand new, 30th Anniversary Restoration of «Interview with the Vampire» in an exclusive screening

    Simultaneously with its re-release in movie theatres abroad, the Athens International Film Festival invites you to watch an exclusive screening of Neil Jordan's INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, for the first time in our country in a brand new digital print made to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first release. On Saturday, February 24th, at Cinobo OPERA 1.

    Athens International Film Festival is screening the legendary «The Thing» by John Carpenter in 4K digital restoration

    Athens International Film Festival is screening the legendary «The Thing» by John Carpenter in 4K digital restoration

    The Athens International Film Festival presents one of the best sci-fi films of all time as you have never watched it before: for the first time in Greece in recent 4K digital print edited by the director himself, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary from its first release, 'The Thing' by John Carpenter is screened at midnight on Saturday February 10th , at the Cinobo OPERA cinema.

    Athens International Film Festival invites you to solve the crime in «Gosford Park»

    Athens International Film Festival invites you to solve the crime in «Gosford Park»

    The Athens International Film Festival continues its Saturday film dates at Cinobo OPERA with one of the best films of the great Robert Altman and the entire 00s decade: Oscar-winning for Original Screenplay, and nominated for six more gold statuettes, Gosford Park is hosted for a one-time only screening with a digitally restored print, this coming Saturday, February 3rd.

    The Athens International Film Festival at the Oscars!

    The Athens International Film Festival at the Oscars!

    And the Oscar goes to... the Athens International Film Festival! Nine films screened at the recent Athens International Film Festival are nominated for 27 Oscars at the 96th Academy Awards.

    Athens International Film Festival celebrates David Lynch's birthday with the screening of the

    Athens International Film Festival celebrates David Lynch's birthday with the screening of the "LOST HIGHWAY" in 4K digital print

    The Athens International Film Festival moves to the Cinobo OPERA cinema the sold out screenings that used to take place at IDEAL cinema and launches its Saturday film dates for 2024 with the "Lost Highway". David Lynch's legendary noir thriller will be screened for the first time in our country in the digital format recently edited by the director himself.