Morris Costumes Shop Sign

The sign of the famous Morris Costumes. A family-owned start-up founded by Philip Morris and his wife Amy in their basement in 1965, Morris Costumes is now the world's largest costume distributor. Philip Morris was a stage illusionist, circus ringmaster, and theatrical producer and his wife Amy traveled with him, performing in his shows and handling the costumes. Their specialty was handmade gorilla suits which were used in carnival sideshows for acts in which a beautiful young woman would transform into a brutish primate. In 1967 two filmmakers, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, bought one of Morris's gorilla suits which was allegedly used in the famous footage of what appeared to be Bigfoot tramping through the California wilderness. Patterson called Morris to ask for advice on making the costume look more realistic to which he replied "use a stick to extend the arms, brush the fur to cover the zipper and wear football pads to make the shoulders bigger." Morris had no idea about the film at the time and did not address his connection to it until after Patterson's death so as not to expose another illusionist's trick.