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submitted by Roxy Theatre, Bingara, NSW on 13.12.2011

Notice 2.2 M&GNSW Alert! eNewsletter

M&GNSW is the acronym for Museums and Galleries New South Wales.

2.2 Bingara to House New Museum Dedicated to Greek Café Culture

THE small town of Bingara in northern NSW seems an unlikely place for a museum celebrating Greek cafe culture.

Yet Gwydir Shire Council has secured a generous $94,500 State Government Grant to develop just that, at a former cafe called the Roxy. Built by three men from the tiny Greek island of Kythera in 1936, the Roxy boasted an art deco cinema, cafe, shops and a guest house. It closed in 1958 and lay empty until it was bought by the then Bingara Shire Council in 1999.

The grant will be used to develop the Roxy Museum to celebrate Greek immigrant cafe culture in rural Australia and ''help staff conduct research and develop collections that document Bingara's history'', the Nationals upper house MP Sarah Mitchell said.

The announcement has been applauded by members of the Greek community, particularly descendants of those from Kythera. The Kytherian Association secretary, George Poulos, who is on the Roxy Museum committee, described the project as ''ostensibly a Kytherian museum'' on the website.

George acknowledges of course, that the brief for the Roxy Museum is much wider than that. This will be 'a museum of Greek settlement in rural Australia'. Greek cafes, and the Kytherian experience in cafes, are only part of the story."

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