Bel-Air Drive-In

3101 S. Cicero Avenue,
Cicero, IL 60804

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Bel-Air Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened around 1956 as a single-screen drive-in, the Bel-Air Drive-In added two more screens over the ensuing decades, with space for around 1,000 cars, one of the larger outdoor theaters in Illinois.

The Bel-Air Drive-In typically screened double-features, and was one of only a few drive-ins in the US to feature two-sided screens, enabling the theater to show two different double bills at once.

Last operated by Loews Cineplex, the Bel-Air Drive-In has been closed since 1999.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

rivest266
rivest266 on June 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

This may has been opened in 1956. The 1951 aerial shows empty land.

psycmeistr
psycmeistr on August 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

My first experience at the Bel Air drive in was in 1966. My parents bought their first and only brand new car— a 1966 Ford Country Sedan station wagon. All us kids piled in the wagon and went to the Bel Air- I still remember the movies: Munsters Go Home, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken… :o)

Marquita
Marquita on March 27, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I use to go here all. The time when I was a kid was sad when the close it I showed my daughter this place an she wanted to go she never been to a drive-in so I’m going to find one an take her so she can experience some of the things I did when I was a kid really wish they would have kept it open this is something u can njoy with your kids n the summer

elkayo56
elkayo56 on November 16, 2014 at 8:15 am

I saw 1963’s Cleopatra and El Cid there. When I was young I would stand on the overpass and watch movies without sound. Sorry to see it go.

VintageBob
VintageBob on July 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm

I’m hoping someone here can help me find some info. I’m trying to remember a particular showing here at the Bel Air around 1980 or 1981. They had an all-night movie line up of horror movies. There were 5 or 6 playing that evening, back to back. Among them were “The Rats Are Coming, the Werewolves Are Here” and I believe “The Hills Have Eyes” and maybe a Dr. Phibes or Count Yorga movie, and a few others. I’ve been scouring the Chicago Tribune archives, but that is SLOW going. Any idea where or how I can narrow this search down? Movie release dates won’t help since they were all older movies playing.

Cliff Carson
Cliff Carson on July 21, 2015 at 12:24 am

Looks like a really romantic Drive In Theatre. A sad shame the community allowed it to die

Kenmore
Kenmore on September 28, 2015 at 9:03 am

The Admiral Twin in Tulsa, which is still operating also has a double-sided screen.

Savage
Savage on August 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

This was a drive in I frequently went to every summer as a kid during the 1980s! The Bel Air had the worst food (hot foil bagged burritos,dry hamburgers & hot dogs).. But ,they had a great play ground on one of the sides of the double sided screen!..I also remember the “adult screen” and how the opposite side faced the side of the double sided screen … But,me and some other kids would sometimes sneak over there and laugh at the adults beep their horns at a naked girl on screen!…Ah memories!

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on August 25, 2016 at 1:47 am

“Where are the other drive-ins with two-sided screens(i didn’t know there was such a thing!)?”

Kenmore
Kenmore on August 25, 2016 at 11:17 am

The Admiral Twin in Tulsa is one. It was featured in the film “The Outsiders” although that particular screen burned down in 2009. A metal one replaced it and the drive in is still open today.

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