David B. Wallerstein, 87, retired president of movie theater chain Balaban & Katz (subsequently named ABC/Plitt Theaters) and innovator in the entertainment industry, died Jan. 4 at his home in Chicago of cancer.
Wallerstein joined Balaban & Katz in 1926, subsequently rising to the presidency of B&K and Great States Theatre Corp. in 1957.
Shortly after retiring from B&K, Wallerstein met McDonald’s Corp. founder Ray Kroc and joined McDonald’s board of directors in 1968. Wallerstein was the longest serving outside director of McDonald’s and, at the time of his death, served on the board’s executive and compensation committees.
Wallerstein served on the board of directors and executive committee of the Theatre Owners of America; was a past chairman of the board, a trustee and honorary director of the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago; and a member of the board and a lifetime trustee of Michael Reese Hospital.
His wife, Caroline, died in 1982; a son, Michael, died in 1974. Wallerstein is survived by two sons, and a grandson.