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Open Lecture: Greek Cinema in the Diaspora
Open Lecture: Greek Cinema in the Diaspora
02.10.2014 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Presenters: Deb Verhoeven & Michelle Mantsio
Entry: Free


The story of Australia’s Greek cinemas is very much like the films they screened: filled with colourful characters, passionate plots, personal ardour, and dramatic turns.

From the late 1940s until the mid 1980s Australia was home to a dynamic Greek cinema circuit made up of some 120 different inner-city, suburban and regional venues operated by a handful of exhibition/distribution businesses.

This presentation will outline a brief history of the operation of these diasporic Greek cinema circuits with a particular focus on venues and businesses based in Melbourne. Several key questions arising from this history will be considered: In what way did these popular cinemas have a specific temporal as well as a spatial relationship to Australia’s Greek communities?

What role did the cinemas provide for Greek diasporic communities in constructing or relocating the ‘local’ within a global cultural ecumene? How might we account for the impact of Greek-Australian distribution and exhibition on the national cinemas of both countries?


Deb Verhoeven is Professor and Chair of Media and Communication at Deakin University. She is Deputy Director of the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention and was a Chief Investigator of Regional Markets and Local Audiences: Case Studies in Australian Cinema Consumption, 1928-1980 which inspired her interest in Greek diasporic cinemagoing in Australia.

Michelle Mantsio is the Co-ordinator of Visual Arts and an art lecturer at the Academy of Design Australia. She is a practicing artist who has participated in think tanks, art residencies, conferences and has exhibited nationally and internationally, with a recent exhibition at the Hellenic Museum. Michelle was Research Assistant for Regional Markets and Local Audiences: Case Studies in Australian Cinema Consumption, 1928-1980.


We would like to thank George Koletsis, Louis & Effie Sgardelis and Stella Dimadis for sponsoring tonight’s lecture. Such initiatives assist us in providing these lectures free to the public. If you would like to participate as a sponsor from as little as $100 please send us an email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We would also like to thank our corporate sponsor:


The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
Country: au

In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship