Bel-Air Drive-In

3101 S. Cicero Avenue,
Cicero, IL 60804

Unfavorite 9 people favorited this theater

Bel-Air Drive-In

Opened March 2, 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 34 comments)

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 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 on September 28, 2015 at 9:03 am

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

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 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 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.

rivest266 on November 11, 2016 at 12:45 am

This opened as the World’s largest drive-in with the World’s largest screen on March 2nd, 1956. The grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.

JAYJay on September 6, 2017 at 10:56 am

I went there a few times back in the early 1960s I was always told that it was built on an old landfill / garbage dump. Can anyone verify this ?

Trolleyguy on September 8, 2017 at 7:04 am

I used to go there as well. I heard the same stories about the landfill or scrapyard.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater