Roxy Cafe opening a weekend of celebrations

February 24, 2011

Roxy Cafe opening a weekend of celebrations

When The Roxy opened its doors for the first time in 1936, The Bingara Advocate reported that “probably no event in the history of Bingara has caused more interest and excitement.” 

The paper provided a description of the enormous crowd that had gathered for the occasion ‘storming the streets,’ noting that well before opening time “it was impossible to wind one’s way through.” 

The crowd had come to experience “The most modern picture theatre outside of the city” one that would “…herald a new dawn in Bingara’s motion picture history.” 

What a history it has been!  On SaturdayApril 9 and Sunday April, 10. The Roxy will celebrate another significant milestone in its remarkable story: its 75th Anniversary. 

The shared narrative of The Roxy’s history exemplifies the Greek migration experience:  one that made an outstanding contribution to the development of Australia.  

The Roxy was built by three Greek partners from the island of Kythera.  Opening in 1936, the complex boasted an architecturally striking art deco cinema, café, and guest house. 

The Gwydir Shire Council celebrates the 75th Anniversary of The Roxy with a weekend of festivities that pay homage to the legacy of this significant icon.

Saturday April 9 will include the official launch of the fully restored art deco Peter’s & Co Café and preview of the site of the new Museum.  The museum will be dedicated to the history of Greek settlement in country Australia (with a focus on NSW and Queensland).   It will become a place of national and international significance that collects, conserves and protects the important cultural associations between people and place. 

Following the official launch, a Gala Ball will be held.  Bringing the glamour of the 1930’s back to Bingara, the Black Tie Gala Ball will be an unforgettable evening of Greek feasting and festivity. 

Guests will be invited to dance the night away to the live band Ha Va Le, one of the best Greek party bands performing in Australia today.  No Greek celebration would be complete without the smashing of plates, and the Gala Ball will be no exception.

The celebrations don’t stop there.  During the day on Saturday and Sunday, a number of film screenings will be held.  The glitter and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age will come to life in Bingara with a weekend of screenings that celebrate the history of The Roxy while setting it firmly in the context of the town of Bingara, northern NSW.

Come and be swept away by a selection of classic footage and unexpected delights that will take you back in time and light up the silver screen.

A highlight of the screenings will be The Roxy and Other Souvenirs featuring John Wood, one of Australia’s most recognized and well-loved actors, best known for his role in Blue Heelers. 

Approached by Foxtel Television to appear in a series entitled As Australian As, the actor chose to feature The Roxy and discuss the unique relationship he shares with the venue. John Wood will return to Bingara for the celebrations to introduce the screening. A Question and Answer session will follow which will provide a wonderful opportunity to welcome the actor back to the town.

Also showing over the weekend will be the first film ever screened at The Roxy at the opening in 1936.  Roberta, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is a timeless classic not to be missed.

The official opening of The Roxy in 1936 generated an extraordinary response.  The Gwydir Shire Council is gearing up for the 75th Anniversary celebrations to do the same.

For further information, please contact Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager on mobile:  0427 241 582.   Tickets for the Gala Ball are available through the Bingara Tourist Information Centre:  (02)67 24 0066.