Beloved movie theater employee remembered by co-workers and the community

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 4:28 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - After a 40 year career in nursing, a Fox Valley woman took her caring nature to the movies. In 2000, Marlene Morris started working as a ticket taker for what is now Marcus Valley Grand Cinema. News of Morris’ passing has brought an outpouring of love from all kinds of movie goers.

If you’ve even been to the movies at Valley Grand in Appleton, chances are you’ve met Marlene Morris.

“She greeted you just very sweetly. She treated you like you were her grandson or granddaughter coming to the show,” says Julie Johnson of Appleton.

Former Valley Grand employee, Eliza Kapinski, adds, “She just had the most beautiful smile and just everybody loved her. And the few days she didn’t work, everybody would be asking about her. She was kind of like the mascot of Valley Grand.”

For 20 years, the retired nurse, worked as a ticket taker at the theater, often putting in hours on weekends and holidays. She was a constant and someone everyone from movie goers to co-workers looked forward to seeing.

According to Erin Wolf of Little Chute, “Every time we would come, when Marlene was working, she was just always smiling always said hey, how ya doing, how are things, what movie you gonna go see? Always engaging.”

News of her passing, at age 83, brought hundreds of comments and condolences to the Marcus Valley Grand Cinema Facebook page. Her co-workers even putting up a small memorial on the ticket booth where she worked.

“I always enjoyed going into my shift and seeing Marlene’s smiley face. She brought so much light to the theater. We all loved talking to her. She brought so much joy, she will be missed,” says co-worker, Cece Schertz.

Practically as famous and well known as the celebrities shown on the big screen at Valley Grand, Marlene Morris was a star in her own right. Cinema General Manger Steve Olson says, “She’s not somebody that we can replace. She’s a legend, an all-time great and certainly will be missed.”

And her memory will continue to shine brightly with all who crossed her path.

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