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The first screen

    A historical photo and the story behind it as described by Nikos Theodosiou, artistic director of Camera Zizanio

    It is December 6, 1997. It’s been a difficult week of preparation to transform Apollon Theatre in Pyrgos into a high-standard movie theatre, by installing 35mm and 16mm projectors, a Dolby sound system, a large cinema screen.

    A bet is on: Olympia Festival, which begins its grand journey the following day, should offer children the best film productions for children and young people, but also the best screening conditions.

    On that same day, the screen arrives from England. It's a special order with the exact specs regarding dimensions and quality. It’s a big roll. Someone carries it from the bus station.

    We unroll it on the theatre stage with awe. Then it's the hard task of lifting it into position and framing it. It's not as easy as we thought it would be. We start over many times. But in the end, we make it. There's one more step before the transformation of the venue is complete.

    But December 6th is also Saint Nicolas Day. All Nicks of the crew have to buy lunch, since it’s their Name Day. However, a theatre is not a restaurant. So a solution is improvised. A table is set in the little yard in front of the lobby. We’re lucky it’s not raining. After a moment of hesitation, the sacrilege begins. The wooden subtitles screen, that hasn’t yet been placed below the screen, is turned into a table. It's on that screen we lay the food and the wine from the place next door... An unforgettable feast!

    We finish at midnight. A little past twelve, we hear the long-awaited order. In the silence, the sound of the projector motor is heard. The screen is filled with the colours of "The King of Masks". The Festival’s first and last midnight screening.

    Everyone is smiling. The sound and image are impeccable. The best screening room in Greece is finally here...

    Nikos Theodosiou

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