Newcastle icon Margaret Goumas dies

Former Newcastle councillor, activist and owner of the Showcase Cinema Margaret Goumas has died.

Mrs Goumas, 75, died yesterday afternoon at home with her husband Theo Goumas.

The Goumases were well known across the Hunter for their decades of involvement in the cinema industry.

They were forced to close the Showcase Cinema in 2008 after an inspection by building owners GPT found that an outer wall posed a fire safety hazard to customers.

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GPT pulled out of its Newcastle redevelopment project last September.

Ms Goumas told the Herald that she would love to reopen the cinema, however, all the seats and projection equipment had been sold "at fire sale prices after GPT threatened to throw it out as rubbish".

This morning, Mr Goumas said a light had gone out in his life and in the lives of the many others who had known his wife.

Rector of the Holy Apostles Church at Hamilton, Father Nicholas Scordilis, said Newcastle was ''the poorer without Mrs Goumas''.

Although the Goumases retired from public life with the closure of the Showcase, Mr Goumas said his wife had remained active, volunteering for two days a week at Lingard Hospital kiosk and two days a week at the Red Cross shop in Hamilton.

Although the couple were synonymous with Greek life in Newcastle, Mr Goumas said a lot of people did not realise his wife was Australian.

Her maiden name was Taylor.

Holy Apostles president Frank Marks said Mrs Goumas was very much part of the Greek community and had ''a great rapport'' with its members.

Mr Goumas said funeral arrangements were still being made but the service was likely to be held next Thursday or Friday.

For a full report, see tomorrow's Newcastle Herald.

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For more pictures from the life of Margaret Goumas, click on the image above.

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