2021 Heritage Festival Exhibition Marrickville Eikons May 1-30

Marrickville Eikons

Exhibition description

As part of the Australian Heritage Festival 2021, Marrickville Library is pleased to present iconic photographs of the Greek community in Marrickville, taken by Emmanuel Angelicas. Raised in the suburb, long term resident Emmanuel Angelicas has taken photographs for five decades, chronicling the changing face of Marrickville and its citizens.

These stunning monochromatic images are just a taste of the photographer’s archive and show aspects of the Hellenic influence. By the middle of the twentieth century, Marrickville was a major centre for Greek immigrants, often referred to as ‘Little Athens’. Over time, shops and businesses with a strong Greek identity became accepted as part of the wider Australian community and enriched our municipality. Through these images, older residents will smile with recognition and younger ones can connect with our recent history.

Artist bio

For fifty years, photographer Emmanuel Angelicas has roamed the streets of Marrickville, recording his neighbourhood in startling black and white images. His archive of negatives and digital images is huge and this exhibition showcases just a few of his iconic images of the Greek diaspora and their influence on our suburb. Marrickville’s complex identity owes much to the arrival of Hellenic migrants in the 1950s and 1960s and this is recognised today with the area’s affectionate title of Little Greece. Emmanuel Angelicas’s photographs span the generations with poignant images of those early arrivals and their descendants.

As he grew up in Marrickville, he became serious about the medium. He bought better cameras and graduated from the University of NSW with a degree in Visual Communication and postgraduate diploma in Professional Art Studies with further visual arts qualifications from the University of Sydney. The technology of photography has changed, but Emmanuel continues to record in black and white and is happy to use both film and digital cameras. His attitude to photography has never wavered either. “Every time I shoot in Marrickville, either in my home or on the street – I am still this seven-year-old boy curious with his camera…”


Olympia Milk Bar

The Olympia Milk Bar opened in 1939, following the closure of a billiard toom which had originally occupied the building. (Next door heading west along Parramatta Road) was the Olympia De-Luxe Picture Thetare which opened in 1911.

Both the cinema and milkbar did a roaring trade until the very early 1960s. Like many of the 50 cinemas in the Inner West were met with the advent of the television.

The Olympia cinema was then converted into a skating rink. During this era a growing youth culture patroned the milk bar, however by the mid 1970s a number if take away fast food outlets popped up and the teenage patrons declined in number.

It is really quite amazing that the the Olympia milk bar has survived so long up until the last 5 years the milk bar had retained much of its original character and the minds of many locals was on one of Parramatta Roads icons. Often a stop on the annual heritage festival walking tours of Annandale, frequented also by social historians, public history students, journalist, filmmakers and busgazers it has long been the cafe to spot and visit if you may and dive into the realms of nostalgia or experience what once was.

Most of the memories are held strongly in the minds of locals from the 50s, 60s and 70, Parrmatta Road was often referred to as lovers lane or the dating game as it was a tradition when going on a date to meet and the south end of Parrmatta road and chat and hold hands the length of the road the Olympia milk bar according to Stella Phillips was one of the places they would stop and buy a milkshake.

The current fate of the Olympia Milk Bar has certainly become of concern and a topic of discussion as the longtime occupier and owner Mr Nick Fotiou has moved into a nursing home.

We invite you to share your stories, memories and photos of the Olympia Milk Bar.

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