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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One thought on “Olympia Milk Bar

  1. I lived in Elswick Street Petersham for the first 24 years of my life (1942-1966). The Olympia Theatre & the Milk Bar next door hold very fond memories. Of a Sunday arvo a group of us would walk up to this Milk Bar & play the Pin Ball Machine & the old Juke Box. (The Everley Brother’s “Bye Bye Love” used to get a a hiding). Pat Rogers, what great memories. Our usual hang out during the week was the small Milk Bar in Crystal Street Petersham, opposite the Technical College. Here all the young lasses would go to Tech to learn Typing & Short Hand & most of them would come over to the Milk Bar for their tea break. It was a teenagers heaven. Here they also had a Pin Ball Machine & a Juke Box. Sixpence a game or sixpence a record. If we were broke Mrs Williams, the owner, used to give us handfull of specially marked coins to play these & when the bloke came to empty the machines he would give these coins back to her. A wonderful lady. A different world.

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