Tribute’s paid to former manageress

A LITTLE piece of Banbridge’s cinema history has passed away with the recent death of former manager of the old Iveagh Cinema, Mrs Doris Matier.

Doris was synonymous with the ‘old Iveagh’ and was the familiar, friendly face of the building in its ‘hey day’; a time when film fans travelled from far and near to see the latest releases, as well as occasional concerts staged at the venue which attracted performers of the calibre of Kris Kristofferson, Foster and Allen, Phil Coulter and Daniel O’Donnell.

Leading the tributes this week was the current manager of the new Iveagh Movie Studios which replaced the former facility, Mr Giles Conlon, who knew Doris as a family friend as well as a colleague.

“Doris was almost part of the furniture at the old Iveagh cinema and she had a real love for the industry,” Mr Conlon told the Leader yesterday (Monday).

“She was especially proud to have been at the helm when segments of the film ‘Mickeybo and Me’ were filmed inside the old Iveagh cinema. When it was premiered at our new premises, Doris was there for the opening night, alongside director, Terry Loane.

“She also attended the official opening of the new studios in 2004 and a plaque bearing her name is erected in the building. It was great that even after her retirement Doris didn’t lose touch and enjoyed coming along to see the many different films showing here.”

After starting to work at the Iveagh just after it opened in 1951, Doris went on to become manager and during the next 40 years developed a wide network of friends in the film business.

When the Iveagh became part of the Abbey Films Group, it further widened her involvement with a number of other cinemas which also became part of the group, including those in Coleraine, Belfast, Lisburn, Newry and Portadown. As a result of this new development, Doris assisted in recruiting and training various members of staff.

Following the death of her husband six years ago, she continued to have a full and active life and was involved in a number of local groups, such as Banbridge Senior Citizens Club, the local arthritis club and Bannside Bowling Club.

Mrs Matier passed away on Tuesday, March 26, at Craigavon Area Hospital, at the age of 81. She is survived by her son Ronald, daughter-in-law Bernie and grandchildren Karl and Laura, as well as her brother John Russell and sister, Mrs Ida Andrews.

Her husband, former Banbridge man George Matier, died in 2007, bringing to an end more than 55 years they were together as a couple.

Several well-known names in the cinema world attended the packed funeral service at Bannside Presbyterian Church at which the Rev Dr Mark Grey officiated.

Interment took place in the New Cemetery and family flowers were placed on the grave. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to William Bell and Co, 23 Kenlis Street, Banbridge, BT32 3LR.

In line with the family’s wishes, these donations will be given to The Tear Fund and Save The Children Fund.