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AP PHOTOS: Outdoor cinemas fade to black in Greece

Friday - 8/8/2014, 2:22pm  ET

In this July 27, 2014 photo, a moviegoer gets up during the intermission at the Dionysia outdoor movie theater, near central Athens. The cinema reopened last summer despite the country's crippling financial crisis. The financial downturn left most Greeks struggling to find ways to have an affordable night out, but cinema owners say audiences have declined drastically from a few decades ago. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- For decades Greeks have enjoyed watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters and old classics under the stars.

Open-air cinemas survived Greece's real estate boom and the financial bust that followed, providing many with an affordable night out.

From tiny Mediterranean islands to the capital, Athens, warm summer nights and some spectacular settings kept movie fans coming back. But the global switch to digital projection could soon bring the tradition to an end.

Many independent cinema operators say they cannot afford to invest tens of thousands of dollars in new technology, but none have said so far that they will have to turn off their old film projectors for good.

Among the images of outdoor cinemas are those of Cine Thisio, Athens' oldest, which opened in 1935.


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