Vasilis Dimitriou claims to be the last man in Europe to make his living hand-painting cinema posters. He’s 76 now, and every Wednesday for the last 62 years he’s been heading down into the center of Athens at 11 p.m. to swap the poster pinned to the front of the Athinaion movie theater
In an interview with the newspaper To Ethnos tis Kiriakis, he said he started doing film posters at the age of 14 when it was discovered he had a knack for drawing by a man in the movie business. He said the man told him, “I’ll take you to the workshop of a guy that does movie posters, and you’ll learn the job there with him.”
Dimitriou, when asked if anyone taught him how to draw responded: “No one does anything alone. When you want to learn something and you don’t have the money to go to some fancy school, you have to look for anything that has to do with painting – you open books, you look at what other people are doing … and that’s studying. My teachers were the masters of the workshops where I worked. I watched and learned. I don’t know if going to an arts school would have triggered something else inside me.”
In recent years, he said he prefers not to watch the movies before starting to paint but chooses to work with photographs and promotional materials. His favorite actor is Clint Eastwood, and he adores Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz. Recently, he also painted Zeta Makripoulia for a movie poster, as according to him, her beauty could not but draw his attention.