Bel-Air Drive-In

3101 S. Cicero Avenue,
Cicero, IL 60804

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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

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)

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

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

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Google map shows the remains of this Loews-Cineplex Bel-Air Drive-in.

MKuecker
MKuecker on April 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm

The Bel-Air was great. You never could get the frequency on the radio, so you had to use the speakers. The last film we saw at The Bel-Air was Pet Cemetary. I always remember that at about 10:15 they’d interrupt you with the annoucement that the consession stand is closing in 15 minutes, and that means the restrooms will be closed too. One young man was cute one night and said “So if you need to use the restroom, go now or forever hold your pees”
So, Wal-Mart eh? Not a place I would ever shop, not even for the $4 prescriptions.

Michigandriveins.com
Michigandriveins.com on December 31, 2007 at 11:14 pm

They want to build a walmart there eh, what a shocker. I found the Bel-Air site on Google maps street view, the screens are definitely gone, bummer. That two sided screen was a very cool concept. There was also one in Indy (gone) called the Theatair Twin and the Admiral Twin in Tulsa, which is still open. Ron/michigandriveins.com

VintageBob
VintageBob on February 11, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Sadly, I saw some cranes and other equipment when I drove past the area last week. I suspect they’re getting ready to tear it down. And so dies another historic site. :–(

PiD
PiD on December 27, 2006 at 8:48 am

Quote from The Chicago Sun-Times


Business briefs

December 15, 2006

Retail planned for Cicero site

Cicero trustees have approved plans for a Wal-Mart store and a Lowe’s Home Improvement store to be built near 31st Street and Cicero Avenue, at the site of a former drive-in movie theater, the Bel-Air, said a spokesman for the developer, Monroe Investment Partners of Chicago. Prior to the Bel-Air drive-in, the property was used as a landfill and a quarry. The 217,000-square-foot Wal-Mart and the 150,000-square-foot Lowe’s stores are expected to open at the end of 2007 or in early 2008. The site will be difficult to develop because a berm circling the drive-in, standing as high as 70 feet in some places, must be taken down, the developer’s spokesman said. The property is about two blocks from the old Sportsman’s Park racetrack, an 80-acre site the town wants to develop into a lifestyle shopping center.


View link

ewokpelts
ewokpelts on December 3, 2006 at 1:52 am

It’s still up, but I doubt it’ll ever re-open. There’s too much commercial re-development going on to convince the land owners(assuming it’s not loews/amc) to let a drive in operate instead of a big box retailer.

DonRosen
DonRosen on June 29, 2006 at 1:54 am

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

The 41 Twin in Franklin, WI (Milwaukee ‘burb) also had the two sided screen.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on June 28, 2006 at 8:21 pm

I rember going over the bridge that connects i think 31st with Cicero Ave and seeing people sitting on the walk way with lawn chairs watching the movie on the screen that face the bridge,and if i recall right their was some kind of roadway to the bluff that over looked the screens and people would drive up and park and watch the movie for free more or less. Cuse at night when the movie`s were being viewed you could hear the speakers from the cars that paid to see the flim.
Also if i recall right the police from Chicago and from Cicero took turns moving people off of the bridge becuse as i said before that would sit on the walk way and watch the movie and the people in cars would stop and look at the people and this would cause a goucker block. But this was a very good Drive-in i rember it well good memories. :) Thank You fore you time.

DuPageDude
DuPageDude on November 18, 2005 at 3:38 pm

I went past the drive-in yesterday, it’s really sad…Abandoned, gravel and chunks of concrete in huge piles all over the place. I don’t give it much hope of ever reopening. The speedway across the street has been closed for a few years now, and is slowly being disassembled. The entire area is going downhill fast!

DOkon
DOkon on June 15, 2004 at 11:12 am

Wow, I can’t belive that people are still talking about the Bel- Air
I was actually the General manager of the drive in, in 1998. This was a fun place to work. I don’t think that they will open the drive in again. Te last that I heard that they were going to turn it into a parking lot for the speedway across the street. Although it was tough to run, and I have had many a headaches from there. It was a great experience. If anybody has any questions on the Drive- in , and you think I can be of any assistance. please feel free to contact me

PhilH
PhilH on June 12, 2004 at 8:13 pm

I had a lot of great times at the Bel-air in the 70’s! Hope they reopen it. All of the theatres of my youth in Chicago are gone. too bad.

RobertMJadach
RobertMJadach on June 2, 2004 at 5:28 am

There are only a very few drive ins open. I was at the Cascade last weekend and it is still doing great business. The others are in Aurora and up north. Any others not sure. The Bel-Air as of 6/1/04 still stands but abandoned. They need to reopen it someday.

wrightone
wrightone on June 1, 2004 at 5:52 pm

Hello out there, does anyone know if the drive-in in Sauk Trails is still open. Chicago IL

sdoerr
sdoerr on March 11, 2004 at 1:42 pm

lol interesting comment Ben

BenCybulski
BenCybulski on March 11, 2004 at 12:21 pm

The Bel-air -which means “fresh air” – sits at the top of one of chicago’s first land fills!!

MovieMan26
MovieMan26 on February 13, 2004 at 11:02 am

Though the 1990’s the bel-air was operated by the lowe’s/sony theater chain.

MovieMan26
MovieMan26 on February 13, 2004 at 10:57 am

What’s going to happen to this drive-in??
Will they reopen it or demolish it??

RobertMJadach
RobertMJadach on December 29, 2003 at 1:30 pm

I lived and grew up by the Bel-air Theater where it now sits deserted. In the 1960’s through the 70’s they hosted firework displays for the 4th of July. It was operated I believe by the Balaban and Katz chain, later in the 70’s by the M&R corp who merged with the Cinwplex Odeon Group. A third screen was erected in the 1980s. It was also one of the first drive ins to have the in car heaters and radio sound. I have photos of the screens, ticket booth, and marquee from the 1980’s. The ticket booth was arsoned in 1999 and the marquee knocked down but the screens and concession stand are still on the property. It also was one of the last operating drive ins in the Chicago Suburbs.