By Joe Morguess
He was admired in the Tamarac Community for his love of film, and his commitment to bringing the best in movies to his theater which he named “The Last Picture Show” after the classic 1971 film, winner of several Academy Awards. Even this week’s schedule features several Golden Globe winning movies. While not a classic first run theater, Morris “Morrie” Zryl , 69, endeavored to bring first run films to the Tamarac theater, at McNab and Nob Hill Road, as well as first-run foreign films.
His passing was a shock to local moviegoers who first learned of it from signs announcing the loss at the box office. It’s unusual for theater goers to know a theater owner, but Zryl was an exception. He took tickets at the theater door, and would greet his loyal audience personally, asking them what film they chose to see at the theater multiplex, then be in the lobby following a showing to discuss the various films.
His loyal attendees loved to discuss movie nostalgia with him, including this writer. He prescreened every film he featured at his theater, wanting to present the best. Zryl was a movie historian who lectured on film at various venues including at various clubs at Kings Point in Tamarac, most recently at the Sled Club, a cultural organization. Entering the lobby of his theater was an experience in itself, with portraits of classic movie stars, and movie marquees of the past. A native of Cleveland, Zryl was the former owner of the Colony Theater in Cleveland’s Shaker Square.
Marvin Kaleky reported that Morrie was very supportive of Israel, a good friend to Temple Beth Torah Sha’rayTzedek, and various Temple groups and was the son of two Holocaust survivors, according to ClevelandJewishNews.com.
Helene Herman of the Kings Point Sled Club calls him a “gutte neshuma”, a beautiful soul in Yiddish, and Cory Sadowitz of Sled, said that his passing is a big loss to the Tamarac and adjacent community.
We salute him for his cultural contributions.