There was once a square in the centre of a historic city that was home to its first theatre and a thriving commercial hub. During a harsh time in recent history, the area became run down, shops closed, people moved out. And now, with the help of the municipality and local entrepreneurs, this square is making a comeback. This Friday, October 12, we’ll be celebrating with a street party. You’re all invited.

Plateia Theatrou (or Theatre Square) lies right below the Athens Central Market. It isn’t actually a square, but a mini-maze of streets steeped with smells of the nearby spice and charcuterie shops on Evripidou Street. Seven new shops have opened their doors as part of the “Shop in the Centre” initiative, part of Polis², a pilot programme powered by This is Athens. The programme offers professionals in the creative industry a chance to breathe life into the deserted square by housing their projects in empty shops for a six-month period. It’s an opportunity for start-ups and established businesses to showcase their work and build relationships with visitors and residents.

 “It gives us a chance to show our face, “says Dimitris Davatzis of the I Love Athens Project, a group of photographers who aim to capture the true image of Athens through photography and creative workshops. “Otherwise nobody would know us.”

There’s lots to see and do whether you live in Athens or you’re just here for a city break. Rent a wooden bike from Cocomat-Bike or go on one of their bike tours and meet others from the growing cycling community of Athens.
Kids and grown ups are welcome at Book & Play, where you can hang out over a board game or two, choose from the many multi-lingual books on the shelves, or just bring your laptop and use it as a work space. Book & Play can even help local kids struggling with schoolwork.
Niroi is an NGO that works to promote Hellenism through the arts. Its spot in Plateia Theatrou beats with an air of sophisticated culture the minute you walk through their door. Currently they’re showcasing a photo exhibit and the plan for Friday’s festivities are Japanese drummers and a speech about freedom.

Choros is a cultural collective advocating accessible art and cooperative forms of expression. And the Urban Motifs Lab takes Greek traditional folk patterns and turns them into art objects and accessories.
For the next six months, it’s all about culture, art, expression and human connections at Plateia Theatrou. There’s even a live action role playing game centre (LARP), Creators of Cosmos, where you can choose a scenario and a character, (or create your own), get a tailor-made costume, make up, accessories and all, and be taken to one of the scenarios that have already been created by the team in Athens to live out your dream.

This Friday, October 12, a new chapter for Plateia Theatrou begins with a street party. As well as DJ sets, you’ll have the chance to meet all these Athenian movers and shakers. We’ll see you there.

19.00-20.00: Stores open, welcoming and presentation of creative teams (19.45)
20.00-24.00: DJ sets from En Lefko 87,7 radio

At Book & Play store (10 Plateia Theatrou) Panagiotis Menegos, Konstantinos Zouganelis
At Urban Motifs Lab (5A Diplari Street) Eva Boudouri