submitted by George Poulos on 01.11.2004
This, and a number of photographs that have been posted in sequence, are photo's that were given to Professor Ross Thorne, Department of Architecture, Sydney University, by Peter Laurantus, son of George Laurantus.
All the photographs pertain to the Junee Athenium Theatre.
I would like to thank Professor Ross Thorne for providing the photographs to me in digitalised format.
Ross Thorne's contribution to the preservation of "Kytherian" and Hellenic Cinema's in NSW, has been discusssed in other entries. [Search under Thorne]. Particularly influential was a report he co-authored with Les Tod and Kevin Cork, to the Australian Heritage Office (NSW), in 1996.
Thorne, Ross, Les Tod & Kevin Cork (1996) Movie Theatre Heritage Register for New South Wales 18,96-1996, Sydney: Department of Architecture, University of Sydney. A National Estate Project for the Heritage Office (NSW) and the Australian Heritage Commission.
Peters father Yeoryios - George - was born 10.6.1894, in Kalisperianika,Kythera
He died on 3.6.1980, in Sydney, NSW.
He arrived in Australia on 1.11.1908.
From 1923 he was engaged in businesses - including cinemas. He either co-owned or leased numerous cinemas, including, the Cootamundra Arcadia, Junee Lyceum, Junee Atheneum, Tumut Montreal (not run by him - leased to P Stathis), and the Liverpool Regal.
More details can be obtained on George Laurantus, by referring to Kevin Cork's Ph.D thesis, posted to kythera-family in this section, or by searching under Laurantus with the internal search engine.
A Depression years story from the Athenium, Junee
Professor Thorne has been a professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney. More recently he describes himeself as a Social Architectural Researcher. The following story was told to me by Professor Thorne, which was conveyed to him by Ben Cummin's daughter.
Ben Cummins and George Laurantus were partners in the Junee Athenium until 1938, when Ben was killed in a car accident.
At which time George took over the Cummins half share.
From an early age Ben's daughter worked at the ticket box of the counter - including the period during the Depression years.
During the Depression, itinerent workers moved from town to town looking for employment. They were allowed to stay a maximum of 2 days in a town, and then they were compelled to move on. They normally camped at the showground.
Ben's daughter would allow the (non) workers to sit at the back of the theatre -in a protected environment - away from the elements. Prof Thorne sees this as just another example of the social significance of cinema's. He believes that the psychology of place was often defined in small towns, through the local cinema.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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