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taries films about Australia which he had filmed with his 16mm  moved to 639 Bridge Rd Richmond.
          camera. In 1953 Stan married his wife Kay (Cassiana) in  With the slowing of Greek migration, the introduction of
          Greece and brought her back to Australia. In 1954 Stan again  videos and the opening of the SBS (Special Broadcasting
          went to Greece where he successfully produced (again in 16  Service) TV channel the ethnic cinema business was adverse-
          mm) a colour travelogue called Get to Know Greece. This was  ly affected. Consequently the Greek cinemas closed one after
          first screened in Australia at the Assembly Hall (next to the  the other. The National in Richmond, which had the honour of
          Melbourne  Town Hall) and did very well in Sydney and  being the only Greek cinema to operate six days per week, was
          Melbourne. He subsequently produced many more films for the  the last to close in 1985.  About this time the partnership
          Australian Greek community.                         between Stan Raftopoulos and Peter  Yiannoudes was dis-
            During 1957-58 other Greek film importers became active  solved with Stan retaining the rights to the Cosmopolitan
          and Stan thought it would be a good idea to form a consortium  name and the ownership of the National Theatre. Stan subse-
          of importers to protect the interests of the existing businesses  quently sold the National in later years.
          by forming a company called Cosmopolitan Motion Pictures,  The Ithacan connection with cinema in Australia began
          which was situated at 55 Elgin St, Carlton.         with the construction of the Launceston Princess  Theatre
            In the meantime Stan’s father Spiros had purchased the  (1911) by Marino Lekatsas. His brother, Antonios, was
          Victoria Theatre (former Crown) in Victoria St Richmond and  involved with the building of a ten-story office block in 1922
          began screening major British and                                      along with Captain J E P Howey. This
          American films such as Gone With the                                   building, in Swanston St, was later to
          Wind with the assistance of his son                                    house the famous Capitol theatre,
          Nick and Jim  Anangtou. Jim tran-                                      which opened in 1924. The Lekatsas
          scribed the dialogue of up to 40 films,                                brothers later anglicized their name to
          which he then printed, as Greek subti-                                 Lucas and the Raftopoulos brothers,
          tles, onto slides which he superim-                                    Spiro, Platon and Demosthenes man-
          posed over the English language films                                  aged the confectionery counters in the
          being screened. When the popularity                                    Capitol Theatre.
          of Greek films waned, Spiros was to                                       Today, of all the Ithacan Greeks who
          later rent The Victoria out to the inter-                              had connections with cinema in Victoria,
          ests that became  Valhalla Cinemas.                                    George Florence, Stan’s nephew, is the
          When  Valhalla moved on to the                                         only one left continuing the tradition.
          Westgarth  Theatre the Raftopoulos                                     George operates a very successful cin-
          family auctioned the Victoria, which                                   ema at the Astor (St Kilda). George
          was subsequently demolished.                                           Tollis, a former partner of Stan’s
            Three Greek cinema chains                                            father, Spiros, owns this theatre.
          evolved:                                                                  Over the years Stan has main-
            The syndicate including Spiros and                                   tained his interest in Greek literature
          Nakis (Nick) Raftopoulos, George                                       and he has written several poetic
          Tollis, Jim Anagnostou and the Lazogas                                 works and nine novels from 1943 to
          brothers owned or operated several cine-                               1990. For 20 years Stan was the
          mas including the Victoria (Richmond),  Stan at the opening of the Greek Film  founding editor of the Greek language
          Astor (St Kilda), Globe (Richmond),  Festival 1997 at the Forum Cinema.  newspaper Ulyssess, the organ of the
          Sunshine  (Sunshine),  Pantheon    Holding his projector purchased from  Ithacan Philanthropic Society (in
          (Prahran) and the Pallas  Theatre in  Coles Mildura for 2/6, in 1939.  Melbourne).  He still lectures in Greek
          Sydney.                                                                literature at the RMIT University in
            The commencement of television in  Australia in 1956  Melbourne. In 1982 he was awarded the MBE for his services
          quickly led to the demise of many cinemas around the country  to the Greek Community.
          and their owners were keen to rid themselves of such special-  Stan still has a keen interest in films and to this day main-
          ist premises.  The Cosmopolitan Company was able, with  tains an excellent cinema in the basement of his home,
          small deposits, to acquire many of these cinemas for Greek  equipped to screen both 16mm and 35 mm films.
          film screenings.                                       It is interesting to note that many theatres across Australia
            The Cosmopolitan group  included Stan Raftopoulos, Peter  were built or operated by Greek immigrants. The involvement
          Yiannoudes and Andrew Papadopoulos.  This company leased  of the Greeks in cinema was the subject of a masters thesis
          the National Theatre in Bridge Rd, Richmond from T O’Brien  written, but not completed, by its author Kevin Cork before he
          and this became the company flagship. Over the years the the-  died in the 1998. There are no doubt many stories to be told
          atres and halls in the Cosmopolitan chain included Sun  about the entrepreneurs involved in ethnic cinema particularly
          (Yarraville), The Cathedral Hall (Fitzroy), Globe (Richmond),  the Italian (eg. the La Scala chain), Russian, Eastern
          the Sunshine  Theatre, Empire (Brunswick)  Westgarth  European, Chinese and Indian interests. ★
          (Northcote), Paramount (Oakleigh), Kinema (Albert Park),
          Astor (St Kilda), Galaxy (Brunswick) and the Melbourne
          Town Hall as well as screens in Adelaide.           References:
            Jim Anangtou ran the Oxford Theatre in Sydney (city) and  Odusseus magazine, December 1999.
          the Odeon in suburban Taylor Square.                Interviews with Stan Raftopoulos.
            Around 1971 Andrew Papadopoulos was bought out by the  Photographs: Courtesy Stan Raftopoulos Collection.
          other two partners and the administration of the Company  Cosmopolitan Pass-Out from the CATHS Archives.

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