COVID-19, unfortunately, has taken its toll on our dear movie ambassador, Al Harris.

Yes, he was that smiling seemingly ageless gentleman who took our tickets and gave us hugs and smiles as he greeted us at the Krikorian/Studio Movie Grill theater. Al took it upon himself more than 20 years ago when I started the Redlands Cinema Classic film series, to not only collect the stubs but count them.

He loved good movies, loved Redlands, loved you — our patrons — and loved the fact that the net proceeds of this film series benefited our youth. We would have a guessing game before we counted the stubs as to how many patrons had attended. He also took it upon himself to pass out the flyers of the spring and fall series to moviegoers as they departed from the theater.

Al was the quintessential old-fashioned gentleman who would regale us with stories and trivia of his world travels and above all his love for his “mama,” who I met many times.

His sister in Florida has no funds to bury Al and has started a GOFUNDME campaign to solicit our help. To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/big-al-the-movie-guy?utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_more

Annette Weis, Redlands

Editor’s note: According to Al Harris’ sister, the GoFundMe campaign has met its goal.