wi ripon campus marquee

Exhibition Moguls hosted by Marcus for its 75th Birthday


Last week Steve and Greg Marcus and the family owned Marcus Corporation hosted a party to celebrate its 75th Anniversary. It was held at the first movie theatre their father Ben opened, the Campus in Ripon, Wisconsin. The Campus, which started Nov. 1, 1935, is still in operation as a single screen. Festivities included a social hour, lighting a replicated marquee, a ceremony by the local historical society, a screening of Jack Benny’s “In the Air” (the first film shown there, magically out of the Warner Bros. vaults on DVD especially for the occasion) and a gala dinner.

Among the guests of the Marcus moguls were other exhibitors including Chicago area exhibition moguls Willis and Shirley Johnson of family owned Classic Cinemas and our landlords at the York Theatre, Elmhurst, Illinois. www.classiccinemas.com The Johnson’s returned home with copies of a wonderful anniversary booklet and a color supplement to the Ripon Commonwealth Express newspaper full of Marcus history for the THS Archives.

Marcus today has over 650 movie screens in seven states, operates historic hotels in a number of cities and a resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, among other businesses. They previously operated Marc Big Boy, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Applebee’s franchises in the upper Midwest and Baymont Hotels.

The new marquee at the Campus
Theatre. It was created by Pablocki
Signs, Milwaukee, a family theatre
supply company three years older
than Marcus.

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