Greeks enjoy their nightlife so much that they take an afternoon nap to rest up for it. The evening often begins with a leisurely volta (stroll); you'll see this in most neighborhoods, including the main drags through the Plaka and Kolonaki Square. Most Greeks don't think of dinner until at least 9pm in winter, 10pm in summer. Around midnight, the party may move on to a club for music and dancing.
Check the Athens News (published Fri) or the daily Kathimerini insert in the International Herald Tribune for listings of current cultural and entertainment events, including films, lectures, theater, music, and dance. The weekly Hellenic Times and monthly Now in Athens list nightspots, restaurants, movies, theater, and much more.
Athens has lots of air-conditioned theaters (mostly multiplexes) showing new-release Greek, American, and European films. Listings appear in the Athens News, in Kathimerini (the English-language insert in the International Herald Tribune), and in the weekly Hellenic Times.
If you're in Athens in summer, look for listings of neighborhood open-air cinemas; it's a pleasant way to pass an evening, although some old favorites have closed in recent years. Many of the open-air cinemas are family owned and run, and all are great places to watch Athenian families watching films -- which is to say, talking to each other, pursuing runaway toddlers, munching snacks, and sipping cold drinks, all while keeping up a running commentary on the film. Admission will run you about 8€. We're fond of Dexameni in Dexameni Square, Kolonaki (tel. 210/362-3942), where there always seems to be a breeze on a hot evening. Cine Paris, on Kidathineon in the Plaka (tel. 210/322-2071), is one of the oldest in town -- and has great views of the Acropolis, as does charming Thission on Apostolou Pavlou (tel. 210/342-0864), right on the Archaeological Promenade. Aigli, inside the Zappeion Gardens (tel. 210/336-9369), is the ideal place to enjoy a flick with a glass of wine. Shows begin after 9pm. If you want to watch a movie right next to the surf then head to Cine Flisvos (tel. 210/982-1256; tram: Parko Flisvou). For the more serious cinephiles, check out the Greek Film Archive, 48 Iera Odos and 134-136 Megalou Alexandrou, Gazi (tel.210/360-9695; www.tainiothiki.gr), which has special screenings, various film festivals and an open-air summer rooftop cinema. If you're in Athens during the month of September, you might want to check out the Athens International Film Festival (tel. 210/606-1963; www.aiff.gr).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.