submitted by Peter (Panagiotis) Prineas on 13.12.2010
Recently the people of Bingara enjoyed a preview of the nearly complete Peters and Co 'Roxy' Cafe restoration. Photographs of the restoration works can be seen on this site at 'Photography Diaspora' in the 'Cafes, Shops and Cinemas' section.
Bingara's restored Greek cafe was built by three men from Kythera - Emanuel Aroney, Peter Feros and George Psaltis - who were partners in a business known as Peters and Co. The cafe was part of the Bingara Roxy development including the art deco Roxy Cinema, a string of shops and a guesthouse. The story of Peters and Co's cafe and cinema is told in the book 'Katsehamos and the Great Idea' by Peter Prineas.
Following the restoration of the Roxy Cinema, the Council acquired the adjacent cafe building. It is now restoring the Greek cafe with the assistance of of a substantial heritage/stimulus grant from the Commonwealth Government (approved in 2009 by the Hon Peter Garrett, then Environment and Heritage Minister). A museum devoted to Greek settlement in country Australia (NSW and Queensland) is being developed in rooms above the cafe. A number of private donations have been made for the museum.
The official opening ceremonies for Peters and Co's restored Greek cafe and the new 'Museum of Greek settlement in Country Australia (New South Wales and Queensland)' will take place on the weekend 9-10 April 2011. This is a week later than the date previously announced, the change being due to circumstances beyond the control of the organisers. This date is final. There will be a dinner dance in the Roxy Theatre to celebrate its 75th anniversary and also a screening of the 1936 opening feature 'Roberta', a toe-tapping hit of those days starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with Irene Dunn.
The organisers are making special arrangements to ensure adequate accommodation in Bingara for this event. Rooms must be booked through:
PO Box 5 Bingara NSW 2404
phone (02) 67 240 003 mob 0427 241 582
email: email The Roxy Manager
To view photos of the Roxy project, visit Picasa Web photos.
The three Greek partners who built the Roxy in the 1930s quickly found themselves involved in a 'cinema war'. To discover more about the fascinating story behind The Roxy, visit Katsehamos and the Great Idea.
Prof. Vasilis Peter Leftheris, PhD.
Civil Engineering Researcher
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