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D. S. McIntyre, Theater Owner, Passes At 76

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Donald S. McIntyre, 76, a lifelong Ann Arbor resident and the owner of the Whitney Theater and the Earle Hotel, died yesterday afternoon at his home at 117 N. Division St. following a long illness.

He was born here Nov. 12, 1878, a son of William H. and Sarah Maloney McIntyre, a pioneer Washtenaw county family. He was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Lodge, and the Barton Hills Country Club. He is survived by several cousins. Three sisters and two brothers preceded him in death.

His brother, the late Frank S. McIntyre, was a nationally known actor and musical comedy star who played in a long list of Broadway and road hits between 1901 and 1932. After 1932, he played character roles on radio programs, his biggest success being the part of Captain Henry on the "Showboat" series. He also composed a number of popular songs before retirement in 1944.

The brothers made their home together at the N. Division St. address until Frank's death June 8, 1949.

Owned Building

Donald McIntyre's connection with the old Whitney Theater and the Earle Hotel, both slated to be razed to make way for a new movie theater, dates back to 1915. At that time, he and James Murnan, sr., bought the theater from the builder, Burt C. Whitney. For many years the largest and best-appointed theater in Michigan, the Whitney played host to the famous actors and performers of the day.

The Whitney Theater was also the site of many University student performances. Mr. McIntyre took a number of Union Opera productions on the road where they scored in successful one-night stands in Chicago and New York City.

Mr. McIntyre became sole owner of the theater in 1931, when he bought out Murnan's interest. The theater closed in the depression, and reopened as a movie house in 1934.

Leased Theater

In 1936, Butterfield Theater, Inc., leased the theater from McIntyre, and operated it on a part-time basis for some years. It finally closed indefinitely in 1952.

Last year, the Butterfield chain obtained a 99-year lease from Mr. McIntyre on the property containing both the Whitney Theater and the Earle Hotel.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Catholic Church, with burial to follow in St. Thomas Cemetery. Friends may call at the Muehlig Chapel, where the Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Friday.