Henry G. Plitt, a World War II hero who after his discharge developed Plitt Theatres into a chain of 600 movie screens nationwide before selling most of them in 1985, died early Tuesday of pancreatic cancer at his Beverly Hills home.
Plitt was 74 and at his death was chairman of the board of Plitt Amusement Co., which owns nine theaters in Washington state. A company spokeswoman said Plitt also headed the Showscan Corp., a new company working on a high-technology film process designed to enhance the integrity of screen images.
He was a member of the New York State Bar when he joined the 101st Army Airborne Division before World War II. When he was discharged in 1946, he had been awarded four Purple Hearts for his various wounds, the Silver and Bronze stars, each with a cluster, and was among an elite group of paratroopers who jumped into occupied Holland and France, the latter during the D-Day invasion.
He came home a hero in 1944. After speaking for a time at war bond and other patriotic rallies, he was returned to Europe where he helped in the liberation of several concentration camps and was involved in the pursuit and capture of Nazi war criminals. He eventually was promoted to brigadier general.