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Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Koula Veneris on 27.12.2004

Hume Weir Cafe, Albury NSW.

The Hume Weir Cafe in Dean St Albury was owned by brothers George and Peter Travasaros. This photo was taken in the early 1950's. The people in the photo from right to left are: George Travasaros, his daughter Katina Travasaros (now Katina Vlandis), Steve Gounakis and John Cominos.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Koula Veneris on 27.12.2004

Spot Cafe, Albury NSW.

The Spot Cafe in Dean St Albury was run by Dimitrios Veneris shown standing behind the counter on the right with his wife Stamata next to him. This photo was taken in the early 1950's

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Koula Veneris on 27.12.2004

Spot Cafe, Albury NSW.

The Spot Cafe in Albury was run by Dimitrios Veneris (second from the left) and his sons John Veneris (second from the right) and George Veneris (far right).
The employee on the far left was Andreas Fatseas. This photo was taken in the early 1950's.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 04.11.2006

Con (Tzortzo)Poulos's Gilgandra Fruit Mart truck.

In 1950 my father rented a shop in Miller Street, Gigandra, the main street, from another Kytherian in the town, Jack Pentes, and established the Gilgandra Fruit Mart.

When he first opened the fruit mart, about 9-10 outlets in Gilgandra sold fruit, but fruit was not their central or core business. My father's initial aim was to reduce the number of business's that sold fruit, and to dominate the retailing of fruit in Gilgandra.

One way of doing this was to always get back to the source of the produce - he bought very few of his fruit and vegetables from Wholesaler's - whose margins were often as high as 40%.

The other way is exemplified by the Poulos Fruit Mart truck depicted in this photograph. (On the back of the photograph is written in Greek, "to truk pou pai yiro me ta frutta kai lahana" - "the truck that goes around with the fruit and vegetables").

My Uncle Nick "Belos" Coroneos (my mothers younger brother), is driving the truck, and in the left hand corner, George Con Poulos, and his younger brother, Peter Con Poulos are waving goodbye.

Between Monday morning and Saturday afternoon, for a quarter of a century, the truck would do a "run" around the town - stopping at various corners, and certain "spots", and calling on designated customers - and selling initially fruit and vegetables from the back of the truck. As time passed, the truck became larger, and more and more goods were added, sweets, cigarettes etc, until eventually it carried quite a large stock of produce.

Nick Coroneos would later marry one of the shop assistants in the store - Beryl Palmer. Her brother, Alan "Nuts" Palmer would take over from Nick as the truck driver. Before he left Gilgandra, Con George Poulos sold the truck run business to Alan Palmer, and he maintained the business until his early demise.

The Fruit Mart Truck became almost an institution in Gilgandra. Although I saw many attempts to replicate the "truck" experiment in many Central Western towns in NSW, none was as effective, or enjoyed the longevity and profitability of business, that the Gilgandra Fruit Mart truck enjoyed.

Interior of the Fruit Shop at 42 Miller Street, Gilgandra, established in 1959

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 20.12.2004

Souris's Beenleigh, Queensland, Drive-In Cinema. Now called the Yatala drive-in.

This screen at Beenleigh is not as large as some of its southern cousins, but sits nice and close to the front ramps. In fact every car position in the drive-in is a good one. Asphalt and speakers are all maintained in exceptional condition.

Note that the Yatala drive-in now has two screens. A 2nd one was added in 2003.

Yatala Drive-in

Opened: 1969
Location: Stapylton Rd, Yatala
Capacity: 375 Cars
Screens: One
Operator: Souris Bros.
Closed: Open

Brief history:

Another well maintained Souris drive-in. It has survived in an area part way between Brisbance and the Gold Coast and today draws from both markets. All the more amazing is that it is still a single screen drive-in. The pleasant surrounds add to the feel of this drive-in which sits just off the main Highway. If you are a Ford V8 motor racing fan then the Dick Johnson Racing workshops are right next door to this venue.

This screen at Beenleigh is not as large as some of its southern cousins, but sits nice and close to the front ramps. In fact every car position in the drive-in is a good one. Asphalt and speakers are all maintained in exceptional condition.

When ever I visit a drive-in in northern Australia I think back to those freezing nights in Melbourne in mid-Winter, rain and 2.00 am when we did our ramp tramp after every show. Each speaker would be re-hung on the post, the volume turned down and the speaker and junction box checked for damage. Any units that had survived a car driving off with the speaker still in the window was noted or retrived to the projection room for repair the following day prior to the show. A classic scenario would be, film ends, speaker is turned down, seatbelts fastened, food scraps and rubbish thrown out the window and then our hero drives off forgetting all about the speaker in the window! Bang, they were generally so embarrassed they made for the exit gate very quickly - broken side window or not!

This is one neat and clean snack bar/projection building. Just the place to visit on a warm night in southern Queensland. Well done Souris Bros.

Buddy's hamburger rating, 9/10. Do you have more information on the Beenleigh drive-in?

From:

http://www.drive-insdownunder.com.au/australian/qld_beenleigh.htm

Thank you to David Kilderry for kind permission to reprint this article.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 18.12.2004

Samios Hardware. Brisbane. Advertising.

Advertising on Trams - Samios Hardware.

From:

http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/elibcat/uhtbin/brisbane-image/BCC-B54-22161

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 01.09.2005

Barwon Cafe, 1929.

In Fox Street, Walgett, outside Barwon Cafe and Bert Malcolm's hairdressing parlour and music shop. O T Evans general store and Corbans Menswear shop are on the extreme left.

Car is a 1927 Chevrolet, owned by Sid Harris.

The Conomos Bros. ran the Barwon Cafe and would serve petrol as well - Walgett, NSW

More extensive biography and history of the Conomos Brothers

Extensive history of the Conomos' brothers involvement with Cinema in Walgett, by Kevin Cork

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 18.12.2004

Background and Beginnings. Chapter 2, of KEVIN CORK's Ph.D thesis.

Plaza Twin Cinema, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
Photograph by Grant Ellmers, 1996, from, National Library of Australia, collection.


During the 1990's KEVIN CORK undertook extensive research into cinema's in Australia.

Tragically, he died before completing his work, but most of the chapters of his Ph.D Thesis, were completed.

His wife and children have kindly given permission for his work to be reproduced.

Most Australian's would be unaware of the degree to which Greeks, and particularly Kytherian Greeks dominated cinema ownership in Australia - especially in New South Wales.

In Chapter 10, Kevin Cork attempts to provide a comprehensive life history of each of the 66 Greek, and Greek-Kytherian cinema owners he has chosen to be the subject of his study. He manages to follow most until their demise, or return to Greece.

The importance of the Hellenic and Kytherian contribution to Australian cinema ownership and history is clearly demonstrated in Chapt 10, as in all other chapters.

It is difficult to know how to pass on to Kytherians the results of Kevin Cork's important research's.

In the end, I felt that the results should be passed on in the most extensive way - i.e. in full re-publication of Chapter's.

All other chapters have already been submitted to the kythera-family web-site.

Other entries can be sourced by searching under "Cork" on the internal search engine.

See also Kevin Cork, under People, subsection, High Achievers.


CHAPTER 2 - BACKGROUNDS AND BEGINNINGS


"...like an uninvited child, abandoned by its natural mother on the shores of a great but strange country. This country adopted the child but had no wish to observe responsibility of adoption. Greece on the other hand showed little concern for her migrant children."

The history of Greek-speaking people is inexorably linked to migration. Since ancient times, they have migrated to new lands where they have sought improved living and economic conditions. In those far-distant times, it was not only adventurous individuals who migrated, but city-states were known to have established new, far-removed towns in order to unburden themselves of surplus population and increase their own trading potential. As the centuries passed, the land that is now known as Greece came to experience many conquerors and its people suffered in various ways under their oppressors but it was not unusual for young men to travel to other countries, earn sufficient money to return home and rebuild the family home and clear any debts.

After a long and difficult struggle against its Turkish overlord, Greece became an independent nation in 1830. For much of the next century it sought ways to increase its territory and bring more Greek-speaking people into its realm. The political uncertainty that emerged within the new kingdom did little to improve its economic situation and many people lived in poverty. As the twentieth century advanced, Greece continued with its struggle to enlarge its borders and the numerous military engagements it undertook did little to create stability within the region. For example, the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913 were, in part, a catalyst for World War I. Post-war instability in Asia Minor came to a head in 1919 when Greek forces occupied Smyrna (an important Greek-speaking city) on Turkey's Aegean coast but were driven out a few years later by the Turks with appalling losses. An exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey was attempted in 1923 but the problem was further complicated by those "who had fled from Turkey as refugees and [the Turkish] policies of indiscriminate expulsion." The upheaval of population around that time saw an estimated 1,400,000 refugees from Turkey, Bulgaria and Russia move into Greece which exacerbated existing economic problems.

To comprehend why Greeks emigrated in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, one must first appreciate the conditions in which they lived. Essentially, Greeks immigrants to Australia came from islands, coastal towns and inland villages and had what can be best described as a "peasant" background. Price defines this term as coming from a labouring class without urban occupations. Generally speaking, their homeland was limited to "great tracts of rugged country interspersed with small fertile areas sheltered in some relatively small valley, basin or bay." The 'garden' method of agriculture was used because of the fragmentation of cultivatable plots of land and people kept poultry and associated livestock to supplement their livings. For many people, it was little more than a subsistence type of existence. Local markets developed into more than places where produce was sold or exchanged. They served as social gatherings. On the mainland and larger islands (eg Kythera and Lesbos) villages varied in size from large to small hamlets comprising a few houses. As well, there were the wider, more scattered communities with isolated homesteads. The larger settlements developed over the centuries because of banditry, piracy and war. The first characteristic of this type of settlement is its high population density. (For example, Kastellorizo at the turn of the century had over 8,000 people "squeezed into an area little more than one-tenth of a square mile". In comparison, the island of Kythera, between 1890 and 1940 contained over 100 small villages of less than 100 inhabitants, and its capital in 1928 had less than 1000 inhabitants. The second characteristic of close communal life is that small communities provide the services of cafes, inns, markets, church, communal clothes washing, etc which give rise for social intercourse. Local customs and traditions arose in part due to the lack of communication between settlements. This takes into account the lack of twentieth century inventions such as wireless and cinema in the small villages and hamlets. (On Kythera, for example, it is believed that a travelling picture show man visited the island once in the silent era. There has never been an established cinema on the island.) Thus, local gossip, games, dances, festivals and family functions are the mainstay of social interaction. "...the close communal life of nuclear settlement fosters dependence on familiar friends and faces, on habitual activities pursued in company with fellow-villagers and townsfolk, on social customs and traditions peculiar to that particular town or district."

When lack of formal education, a result of their "peasant" upbringing, is added to the economic hardships and the lack of opportunity they faced, it would be safe to assume that many dreamt of a better way of life, one that would give them economic security and a way out of the cycle in which they found themselves. The 1928 Greek Census found that 41 per cent were illiterate and it is quite probable that this figure was a lot higher in the decades before, especially on the islands. Children were often needed to help their parents in order to sustain themselves rather than to attend what schooling might have been available. From the same Census, it was found that 58 per cent of Greek women were illiterate, compared with 24 per cent of Greek men. Prior to World War II, Australia drew many of its migrants from areas of southern Europe where illiteracy was high and this had a profound effect on the types of occupations into which they went. This was especially evident amongst the Greeks.

Australia, on the other side of the world, was completely different to Greece. Linked as we were to the British Empire, there was political stability and compulsory education had been instituted by the turn of the century. The country was developing, there was an buoyancy in the economies of the various states and many saw it as a land of opportunity. When difficulties arose, they were different from those that plagued Greece. For example, rather than severe political unrest, the 1890s saw a period of depression that was heightened by severe droughts.
Overseas prices of Australian staples - wool and minerals - began to decline in 1886 and fell heavily after 1890, while labour troubles increased...The abrupt collapse of Australian credit in London in 1892 burst the land bubble in Melbourne and Sydney and brought down all but one of the Victorian banks in April 1893.

Before the end of the century, the wool industry recovered and wheat farmers expanded and increased their yields. Crown Land was released for settlement as governments began to encourage small-scale farming, railways were extended and country towns benefited. The population was basically homogeneous, certainly with regards to language and customs. Of the 2,323,000 people living in Australia in 1881, just over 60 per cent were Australian-born and 34 per cent had been born in the United Kingdom. By 1901 (at the time of the first Australian Commonwealth Census), the population had climbed to 2,934,091, 77.1 per cent of which were Australian-born and 18.0 per cent born in the United Kingdom. In an attempt to preserve the perceived homogeneity, the trade unions in the late 1880s "...set their faces firmly against assisted immigration of any kind and strongly supported the prohibition of Chinese immigration, since both of these were seen as a danger to the economic position of union members."

The Bulletin magazine, from the time of its establishment in the 1880s, was an advocate of Australia for British-Australians, and the labour movement took a similar stance. In 1897 Western Australia introduced a dictation test that could be used to refuse entry to particular migrants. It was, therefore, understandable when the new Commonwealth Government passed the Immigration Restriction Bill (which included the infamous Dictation Test) and the Pacific Island Labourers Act in 1901, thereby putting into legislation what many British-Australians wanted - a White Australia. The concept came "to embrace more than racial purity and protection of living standards. One extra element was the tendency to interpret the 'white' of White Australia as meaning primarily Anglo-Saxon...A second element of White Australia was associated with ...'Yellow Peril'."

By the time the 1901 Census was taken, a little under 5 per cent of Australia's population had been born outside of Australia (excluding the United Kingdom). Of this, 2.1 per cent had been born in Europe (which included Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Yugoslavia). Because the southern Europeans had slightly darker skins, they "came to suffer from the predictable fall-out from the stress on colour which the policy espoused in name and in practice..." The general dislike and distrust of these foreigners that was espoused by British-Australians was the result of the low economic position in which the immigrants found themselves, their being a perceived threat to union labour and working conditions and their lack of English language and customs. "Of the thousand Greeks who inhabited Australia towards the end of the 19th century fewer than fifty had had a complete secondary education. Most were unskilled, except in seafaring, and few had more than a smattering of English, picked up from ships' crews." The lack of formal education and the lack of appropriate job skills created difficulties, but having to cope with a new language was "an additional handicap" that many were forced to bear. Unlike the post-World War II years when stress was placed on assisting new migrants with language instruction, those who came before the war were left mainly to their own devices.
In the pre-war period, and indeed early in the post-war years, those newly arrived, even if they had been sponsored by a relative or friend, could, by the constricting factor of the language barrier, only work for other Greeks, or for sympathetic Australians. Usually there wasn't much choice; the lowest of the unskilled jobs was often a starting point...Restaurants, apparently, were a special feature, a mark of respect and testimony that a particular person or family had finally 'made it'.

*Chapter 2 continues...it contains many graphs, tables, and a map, which - to maintain the "lay out" set out by Kevin Cork - requires that it be formatted as a PDF file.

The remainder of Chapter 2 will be made available as a PDF file, shortly
.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 14.12.2004

Capital Theatre Milk Bar - Wagga Wagga, NSW, c. 1920s - 1930s

Sam Nomarhis (second from left) was the proprietor.

Providing a regular, reasonable income, potential material improvement, independence, maintenance of the family unit and requiring only limited education and knowledge of English, many Greeks undertook work in fish shops, restaurants, fruit shops, fish-and-chip shops, milk bars and cafes. Such a field of self-employment was well supported by their traditional sea- oriented and farming backgrounds, and was independent of heavy industry and its union restrictions upon foriegn labour prior to the 1940s. although racist attitudes prevailed, as food caterers, the Greeks won commercial popularity. The most conspicuous enterprises were the Greek cafe and milk bar and their predecessors, the oyster saloon and soda bar.

Photo courtesy X. Stathis

From the In their Own Image exhibition:

http://www.austhistmuseum.mq.edu.au/greek/intro.htm

Compilers:Effy Alexakis & Leonard Janiszewski


For other entries about Effy and Leonard, search internally, under Alexakis or Janiszewski.


Also published as a book, Images of Home.

*There are about 33 Kytherian images and entries in the book, Images of Home.

Author's:Effy Alexakis & Leonard Janiszewski

When Published:1995
Publisher:Hale & Iremonger Publishers
Available:Hale & Iremonger Publishers, 02 9565 1955
Description:285x210mm, 160 pages.

Available from:

Hale & Iremonger
PO Box 205,
Alexandria, NSW. 2015.

Ph: 02 9656 2955
Fax: 02 9550 2012

Eml: frontdesk@haleiremonger.com

Website: www.haleiremonger.com

Documentary photographer Effy Alexakis and social historian Leonard Janiszewski have been researching their history and contemporary presence since 1982, and have made many field trips throughout both Australia and Greece, painstakingly piecing together what has become a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Effy Alexakis:

"The idea for this project began in Greece in 1985 whilst I was staying with the parents of family friends in the village of Mitata, on the island of Kythera. Although I had already noticed many deserted homes throughout Greece, it wasn't until I saw a whole street of deserted homes and ventured inside them that I realised that many of the people had left their homes with the intention of returning. Letters, photographs and other personal documents had been left behind. Like pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle, these items provided small clues about the life within these homes. Australia's migration history is to be found in these homes. Unfortunately, through time, much is being lost."

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 06.12.2004

Advertising for George Sourry's White Rose Cafe, Uralla.

Advertising for George Sourry's White Rose Cafe Uralla.

Used as the front cover for Janis Wilton's collection of oral histories - called Immigrants in the Bush.

Oral histories of the Sourry/Dedes family, and the Mentis family (Tenterfield, Kythera), are provided here.

For more details on this work, see, Culture, subsection, Bibliography, and search kythera-family internally under Wilton.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 04.12.2004

Andronicos Olympia Cafe at Allora, Queensland.

Group of men, possibly including proprietor, staff and clients, pose with a dog outside the N. Andronicos Olympia cafe.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 22.11.2004

Niagara Cafe, Gundagai. The Castrission family.

Feature : Greek Country Cafe

From: http://www.sbs.com.au/foodlovers

Greek Country Cafe (Series 2 : Episode 13)

Once upon a time every country town had its Greek-run cafe. Take a trip down memory lane at the Niagara cafe in Gundagai, NSW, where the hamburgers with the lot, milkshakes and mixed grills are still the stuff of legend.

It’s halfway between Sydney and Melbourne... And in its heyday it was the travellers’ rest.
That’s when the highway ran right down the main street of Gundagai. Nowadays most drivers take the bypass. In its heyday too, Gundagai’s Niagara cafe was the place to be as dusk fell. It was billed as ‘Australia’s wonder café’.

After a marvellous refurbishment in 1938, the cafe boasted a ceiling mural of stars and moons - which was unfortunately destroyed by fire in the 1970s. Many of the other original features remain however, including the Art Deco door, the booths and mirrors, the shop front bow windows and the vintage neon sign.

Like many country cafe owners, the Castrission family who ran the Niagara was Greek. They opened the cafe in 1916 - like many Greeks, calling it an ‘oyster saloon’. They certainly served fresh seafood (as fresh as they could get it, inland) probably due to their heritage as fishermen. And throughout the history of the Niagara, certainly, fish, oysters and lobster were always on the menu. Even today, they make a great plate of grilled flounder.

By the early twenties the Gundagai oyster saloon had acquired a glamorous American name - very much the vogue at the time. (Cafes either had Greek references in their name - like ‘blue and white’ referring to the Greek flag, Paragon or Parthenon - or they referred to some pinnacle of glamour like the Astoria, the California.)

Another Niagara legend were the regular visits here during the war years of Prime Minister John Curtin.

Former waitress Cath Haughton remembers Curtin fondly. ‘He was so nice and he always gave big tips. We used to run to serve him and I used to get their first because I had longer legs than the other girls! I don’t remember what he ate, though.’
It’s said that in 1942 the Prime Minister and his war Cabinet met in the café during a fundraising drive through country areas. According to Jack’s brother Vic, the politicians ended up eating in the kitchen because it was warmer. And while they ate they discussed Australia’s fortunes in the war against the Japanese.

The café was in the Castrission family from 1919 to 1983... 64 years. When brothers Jack and Vic finally sold, it was to another Greek-born man, Nick Loukassis who now runs it with his wife Denise, son Tony and daughter Tina. Peter Castrission, Jack’s son, still visits the café regularly and has lots of café memorabilia including some of his father’s recipes for sweets, written in a wonderful mix of Greek and English.

For more information about the Greek café phenomenon:

Images of Home
In their Own Image
by Effy Alexakis and Leonard Janiszewski (Hale and Ironmonger)

In Their Own Image: Greek Australians
National Project
Documentary photographer Effy Alexakis and social historian Leonard Janiszewski have been researching the historical and contemporary Greek-Australian experience in Australia and Greece since the early 1980s. The umbrella title of their ongoing project is In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians, and they have established a major collection of archival material covering visual, oral and literary-based information. Major national and international touring exhibitions, numerous articles, a film documentary, and two principal publications have been produced to date - Images of Home: Mavri Xenitia (Hale & Iremonger, 1995) and In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians (Hale & Iremonger, 1998).

www.haleironmonger.com

Nick Loukissas and family Niagara Cafe
142 Sheridan Street
Gundagai NSW 2722
tel: 02 6944 1109

Niagara Tourist Office
249 Sheridan Street
c/- Marie Lindley
tel: 02 6944 1341

Patrick Sullivan
Gundagai Independent newspaper
93 Sheridan street
Gundagai, NSW
tel: 02 69 44 1027
fax: 02 6944 2222

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 05.04.2016

TRIFYLLIS CAFE COFFS HARBOUR N.S.W.

con trifyllis (left) and his brother theo trifyllis at the cafe at coffs harbour jetty which they owned in the late 50's and 6o's.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 10.11.2004

Walgett. Conomos Brothers. Luxury Theatre. Programme, 1937. Obverse Page. Commentary by Les Tod.

The Luxury Theatre was built by the Conomos Brothers to replace their operation in the School of Arts Hall. The Luxury opened in April 1937, with the film Born to Dance. It was licensed 30.4.37 to seat 500.

The theatre was quite large, being three storeys high, with a dress circle. It cost £8,000 to build, using 375,000 bricks. Architect was Bruce Dellit, of the Sydney Liberty and Minerva fame, as well as the Hyde Park Memorial.

Builder was Jack King, and the contractor Bill Mason. The theatre was in art deco style, with gold velour curtains supplied by Grace Bros, Broadway. On opening night they actually squeezed 1,100 into the theatre, despite its capacity of 500.

CinemaScope was installed around 1955, and Bausch and Lomb lenses used.

The theatre remained under their control until it was destroyed by fire in 1979, in a conflagration that took all that side of the main street with it, the fire getting completely out of control.

Note that all those who contributed to the building are listed on this programme.

From notes made in 1985, by Mr Les Tod.

Copy of Programme also supplied by Les Tod.

Les Tod is a cinema historian. His contributed to the preservation of "Kytherian" and Hellenic Cinema's in NSW has been alluded to in other entries. Particularly influential was a report he co-authored with Ross Thorne 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.

For other entries, Search under Tod.

Search's under Cork, and Thorne, will lead to other entries by these two contributors.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 10.11.2004

Walgett. The Luxury Theatre. The Conomos Brothers. Programme, Front Page. Les Tod's account.

The Luxury Theatre was built by the Conomos Brothers to replace their operation in the School of Arts Hall. The Luxury opened in April 1937, with the film Born to Dance. It was licensed 30.4.37 to saet 500.

The theatre was quite large, being three storeys high, with a dress circle. It cost £8,000 to build, using 375,000 bricks. Architect was Bruce Dellit, of the Sydney Liberty and Minerva fame, as well as the Hyde Park Memorial.

Builder was Jack King, and the contractor Bill Mason. The theatre was in art deco style, with gold velour curtains supplied by Grace Bros, Broadway. On opening night they actually squeezed 1,100 into the theatre, despite its capacity of 500.

CinemaScope was installed around 1955, and Bausch and Lomb lenses used.

The theatre remained under their control until it was destroyed by fire in 1979, in a conflagration that took all that side of the main street with it, the fire getting completely out of control.

From notes made in 1985, by Mr Les Tod.

Copy of Programme also supplied by Les Tod.

Les Tod is a cinema historian. His contributed to the preservation of "Kytherian" and Hellenic Cinema's in NSW has been alluded to in other entries. Particularly influential was a report he co-authored with Ross Thorne 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.

For other entries, Search under Tod.

Search's under Cork, and Thorne, will lead to other entries by these two contributors.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 05.10.2005

Olive Trees. Living memorials to the Kytherian presence in Gilgandra.

In another entry about the Monterey Cafe in Gilgandra, I revealed that "...I was born in Gilgandra, in 1952, and left after completing my schooling in 1969.

From about the end of WWII, until mid-1975 - Gilgandra, population, 2,900 - was a very Kytherian town.

5 families - the Pentes, Sklavos, Kelly (Koumokellie), Psaltis (Protopsaltis), and Poulos (Tzortzopoulos) - lived in close proximity to each other - culturally, residentially, and commercially.

In the main, Kytherians embraced Kytherians - Gilgandra embraced Kytherians - and Kytherians embraced Gilgandra".

During the middle of the year 2004, I took my father, now 88 years old, on a nostalgia tour, back to Gilgandra, and through other towns in the Central and North West of New South Wales.

Not a single person of Kytherian origin now lives in Gilgandra.

I found of course, all the buildings, where the Kytherians had conducted their businesses; but all of these - with the exception of the Gilgandra Fruit Shop (my father's old shop), had substantially changed their usage.

I also found a series of what I came to call living memorials to the Kytherians who had lived, worked, and died in the town.

These were the olive trees that almost invariably every Kytherian family planted.
Elsewhere I have also spoken about the olive-ization of Australia. This is part of that same phenomenon.

Jack Pentes, who ran a store on the intersection of the main street, opposite the Royal Hotel, and lived one street further back, had planted a number of olive trees.
2 in the back yard of his house; and many in an empty block that ran on the opposite side of the street to the side of his shop.

Only two of the "empty block" olive trees survive. Others, have been removed over the years, to make way for a boundary fence.

The tree depicted is one that survives on that empty block. It never gets pruned - and is massive. Using the house behind it as a guide - about 3 storeys high.

At the time we visited it was laden with fruit. (Gilgandra locals tell me that it hadn't fruited for 2 years; and that it did not fruit annually - but fruited sporadically.)

I took about an hour out of my life, and picked a banana box full of olives - and left masses on the tree. When I got back to Sydney, I pickled many large jars of olives.

Some of the locals pick the fruit and pickle the olives. One of them, seeing that it was my father at the tree, came over and asked him why he didn't seem to get a very good result from the pickling process.

My father soon determined that he was not putting enough salt in the olives; and told him the "boiled egg" method of determining the correct amount of salt that had to be in the water.

Jack Pentes and his corner store have long since gone. But in this massive olive tree, which could live for thousands of years, we have a living memorial to Jack's, and the Kytherian presence, in the town of Gilgandra, NSW.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Spyro Calocerinos on 14.11.2004

Samios Milk Bar Coffs Harbour

Photograph provided by Mr.Emmanuel Casimatis
Panagiotis Samios

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Spyro Calocerinos on 14.11.2004

Monterey Cafe Young NSW 1939

Photograph Provided by Mr. Emmanuel Casimatis

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Spyro Calocerinos on 14.11.2004

Oasis Milk Bar Chatswood NSW 1946

Photograph provided by Mr. Manuel Casimatis.
The Oasis was one of the best Milk Bars in Sydney

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George Poulos on 09.11.2004

Megalo Theatre, Carinda NSW.

Map of Northern NSW. Walgett lies in the Far West, and Carinda is situated to the South below it.

Letter from Emanuel T Conomos to Mr Les Tod, Cinema Historian [find other references to Les Tod by using the internal search engine].

18th August 1985.

.. Tamworth Street
Dubbo NSW 2830.

"As mentioned to you on the telephone, I have obtained a little more information on the Carinda Theatre.

The building was originally the Carinda Hall, which was purchased by my father, and converted into a Picture Show.

The first show was screened on Monday, 12th July, 1937. The name of the picture was Naughty Marietta. Confirmation of this can be gained from the Walgett Spectator, 30th July, 1937.

In its hey-day pictures were screened three times a week, with such epics as; Gone with the Wind, South Pacific, and Ben Hur, drawing crowds from as far away as Walgett and Coonamble.

In 1958 the Theatre was extensively renovated and an upstairs section, seating some twenty odd patrons was added.

The Theatre's name was prominently displayed, being Megalo Theatre. The word megalo coming from my father's Greek surname, being Megaloconomos.

My father left Carinda and moved to Dubbo in 1960, but he continued to commute each weekend back to Carinda to show pictures of a Saturday night. Better roads and transport, and communications saw the demise of the picture show in Carinda with the last screening being in late 1969.

To my knowledge the Theatre still exists, all seats have been removed; however, the projection booth should still be found largely unaltered from the days when it was in operation.

Further information of its present state could be gained by contacting Emanuel P Conomos, on Carinda ...., or ....

If photographs of the old or new Theatre would be of any use, please let me know and I shall forward copies.

Emanuel T Conomos


Mr Les Tod's notes from August 1985 on the Megalo Theatre are:

The Carinda Public Hall was licensed 22.8.30 to seat 313 persons on one level. It was used sporadically as a cinema during the thirties until 1937, when it was sold to a Greek immigrant, Mr Megalaconomos. This gentleman shortened his name to Conomos, and reopened the hall as the Megalo Theatre on Monday, 12 July, 1937. The first feature was Naughty Marietta.

Mr Conomos business interests spread to include the hotel, houses and a generator he purchased in order to get an ice cream machine. He was particularly keen to get an ice cream machine as there was only one in the West at the time. Surplus power from the generator was used to run his theatre, store and hotel, and power was left over to supply many homes.

In 1937, Mr Conomos was also involved with his brother in the building of the large art deco Luxury Theatre in Walgett.

The Megalo, (the name means big/great in Greek), ran three programmes a week in its heyday, and was very popular. A small dress circle of around 20 seats was later added. Second hand projectors were bought for the theatre in 1937, called peekaboos; which are said to be still in it.

The building is of fibrous cement front and corrugated iron walls. The screen, projectors and seats are still there also.

In 1960 Mr Conomos left Carinda to live in Dubbo. He continued to travel back to carinda on Saturday nights to screen films.

The theatre was equipped with CinemaScope and screened such epics as Gone with the Wind, South Pacific, and Ben Hur.

It closed late 1969, and is presently out of use (August, 1985).

Further Information:

Wagga Spectator, 30 July, 1937.

Chief Secretary's Department, Licensing Lists, 1959.


Thank you to Les Tod, for preserving the information, and allowing it to be reproduced at kythera-family.