CULTURE

Looking for more affordable entertainment?

So what are you up to this evening? Catching a movie, going to the theater or maybe a classical music concert?

There is plenty of choice when it comes to recreation and entertainment in the Greek capital, as the Athenian nightlife scene seems to be thumbing its nose at the current climate of defeatism and pessimism. With the exception of performances by popular Greek singers, the country’s cultural market has proved particularly resilient and, above all, capable of adapting to the ongoing situation.

While some argue that the prices of mass consumption products remain high, going out, on the other hand, is gradually becoming less expensive.

To be fair, to a large extent, price adjustments follow the reality of the market. For example, early on in Greece’s economic crisis, many price-cutting initiatives were observed at local cinemas. In early 2011 the price of movie tickets at multiplexes decreased by as much as 30 percent, before settling later in the same year at 10 percent off the original prices.

The growing financial woes prompted the sector’s three major players, Ster, Odeon and Village, to act swiftly. Led by Ster, the other two followed suit in substantially reducing prices, with general admission reaching 6.50 euros at Ster Cinemas, 7 euros at Village Cinemas and 7.50 euros at Odeon venues. Competition also led independent cinema owners to make similar adjustments. These days, for instance, the cheapest admission ticket on any given day is 5 euros, at the Titania (managed by film distributor New Star) on Panepistimiou Street.

The Elli and Trianon cinemas are also working on competitive pricing, with general admission set at 6 euros. At the Gazarte venue in downtown Gazi, general admission costs 4.50 euros on Mondays and Tuesdays. As a general rule, the majority of movie theaters (whether independent or multiplex) apply special rates on what are usually quieter evenings, mostly on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Things are slightly more complicated at theaters. Generally speaking, ticket prices range between 18 and 20 euros. At the same time, however, a number of theaters are applying a consistently lower pricing policy: At the Neos Cosmos Theater, for instance, prices do not exceed 15 euros. It’s a different story at the Pallas, though, where ticket prices for musical productions such as “Chicago” range from 15 to 50 euros. Tickets at the Greek National Opera, the Onassis Cultural Center, the Athens Concert Hall and the Badminton Theater also have a wide range in price. Tickets for the National Opera’s production of “Manon Lescaut,” for example, started at 20 euros.

Prices for children’s plays currently stand at around 10 euros, though certain theaters charge higher prices for adults who accompany young theatergoers.

While tickets for classical music concerts start at 10 euros, contemporary music fans would do well to keep an eye out for free-of-charge gigs, as well as concerts where the admission price also includes a drink.