From early on, the economic growth and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Volos contributed to a flourishing cultural and artistic life, which continued well into the twentieth century; different cultural associations were more active in different periods: the Volos Society for the Arts (1925), the Volos Friends of Letters Association (1936), the Volos Fine Art Connoisseurs (1957), the Society for the Study of Thessaly (1971), the Arts & Culture Club, and the Volos Theatre Club (1975–76).
In music, there was intense activity in the interwar period, with a municipal conservatory, private music schools, a philharmonic orchestra, a symphony orchestra, numerous ensembles and choirs. There was also a lot of activity in both traditional and popular music; the main venue for popular and rebetiko music was the Milanos Brothers’ Skala restaurant. The most renowned theatre companies and music orchestras of the time came to Volos to perform at the old Municipal Theatre (1894) and the Achilleion Cinema Theatre (1925).
In the 1960s, at a time when there were more than 30 cinemas in Volos and Nea Ionia, the Volos Film Club and the local branch of the Hellenic Photographic Society were established.
After 1980, new cultural associations were set up, many focusing on traditional music and dance; private art galleries, theatre companies and music ensembles mushroomed. Literary production was also notable and went beyond the local level.
Since the mid-1980s, the municipalities of Volos and Nea Ionia have stepped up their contribution to providing the infrastructure required to promote the region’s multifaceted cultural and artistic development. Building upon its heritage, nowadays the city possesses the venues and human resources to play a leading role in cultural life, to provide art education for residents, and organise events and festivals of the highest calibre.