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11 Aug 2022

Obituary: Cinematic icon, Eddie, goes to movie theatre in the sky

Obituary: Cinematic icon, Eddie, goes to movie theatre in the sky

The late Edward (Eddie) Gleeson. May he rest in peace

A MAN who brought a touch of Hollywood to rural homeplaces in Limerick and Tipperary has gone to the great picture house in the sky.

Edward (Eddie) Gleeson, age 91, of Doon Road, Cappamore was the former proprietor of Ormond Cineplex, Nenagh, Curzon Kilmallock, and Regal Cappamore cinemas.

He passed away after a short illness on July 3. He is sadly missed by wife Margaret, daughters Mary, Annette, Helen, Ita and Claire, sons David and John, extended family, neighbours, friends, former customers and employees.

The Regal Cinema in Cappamore opened in 1942. Mr Gleeson was working there from day one, aged just 12.

The cinematic highlights of a life spent in movies are too numerous to mention, but his favourite one was the 1953 western Shane, and John Wayne was his favourite actor.

The film stopped rolling in the landmark cinema in Cappamore in 1991. At the time of its closing the Regal was the last surviving independent cinema serving the smallest population in the EU.

Mr Gleeson opened the Curzon Cinema in Kilmallock in 1974 with The Poseidon Adventure the first film screened. He took over the running of the Ormond in Nenagh in 1986.

Having overseen the conversion of the cinema to the four-screen Ormond Cineplex, Mr Gleeson remained at the helm until January 2020, when it was acquired by Omniplex Cinemas.

His eldest son, award-winning Los Angeles-based filmmaker David Gleeson, said: “Eddie Gleeson was never seen in public without a shirt and tie. A fastidiously neat man, even at home he always wore a shirt and blazer.”

He said his dad’s business was truly a family affair.

“Our father was always there, 52 weeks a year. He never took a holiday, actually; a remarkable fact. Each of us, his seven offspring, took turns over the years working side-by-side with him for the matinees and evening shows,” said David. They are memories his children cherish.

“With the passing of Eddie Gleeson, an era dies with him,” said David.

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