Skyview Drive-In

5700 N. Belt West,
Belleville, IL 62226

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Skyview Drive-In

The Skyview Drive-In opened on July 8, 1949, with the film “On Our Merry Way”, and could accomodate 900 cars and had 200 seats for walk-in patrons. It was (and still is) part of the Bloomer family chain of theaters (BAC Theatres). It was only one of two drive-ins that the family actually built, along with the Cahokia in Alorton.

The 60-foot screen was destroyed in a 1955 storm and replaced by a 115-foot one, which was supposedly the largest in the Midwest at that time.

In addition to movies, the Skyview offered a kiddie playground with pony rides, miniature train rides and a small Ferris wheel. Another storm on July 20, 1981 damaged the 115-ft wide screen, and it was replaced by a somewhat smaller one. A second screen was built not long afterward, making the drive-in a twin. The Skyview installed a radio sound system in 1995.

The theater’s season runs from April-November, and it is now the only remaining drive-in still in operation in the St. Louis region.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Anyone know if Screen 3 has been built or when it’ll be opened?

bbrown1
bbrown1 on March 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm

In answer to the above question, not this year, due to delays in the demolition of the Quad:

View link

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Dang…2 years, huh? Bummer. Wonder if Belleville is waiting on the DL to buy Bloomer out…which would mean THE END of the St. Louis area drive-in movie experience.

bbrown1
bbrown1 on April 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Don’t forget the Starlite Drive In in Cadet MO, which reopened last year after being closed for a couple of years. They haven’t yet reopened for the season, but hopefully will soon.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

The Skyview has now been converted to digital projection on both screens. Still no news on when they’re building that 3rd screen, though.

TomMc11
TomMc11 on March 22, 2018 at 10:32 am

The Google Street Camera car drove through this Drive-In in June of 2017. No 3rd screen.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on June 4, 2019 at 1:53 pm

KTVI ran a news video recently promoting the SkyView’s 70th Anniversary with its current owner, Steve Bloomer. It showed off the framed photos in the concession stand, and also had a framed full-page Grand Opening ad. From the date on the top of that newspaper, the SkyView opened on Friday, July 8, 1949.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on June 6, 2019 at 10:24 am

The June 10, 1950 issue of BoxOffice reported, “The Bloomer Amusement Co. has installed an elaborate illuminated sign at the Skyview Drive-In. The sign features a fire-spitting neon rocketship roaring into space. The ship measures 35 feet high and 34 feet wide.” I think they meant that the sign, not the rocket ship, was that big.

MitchWolf
MitchWolf on October 16, 2019 at 5:13 pm

The 1981 wind damage of the Skyview Drive In occurred July 20, 1981

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 3, 2020 at 3:28 pm

This June 2019 piece though apparently inaccurate, does have recent photos. The comments has the “corrections”.

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/illinois/drive-in-movies-il/?fbclid=IwAR1IQy5BDZt50eG5jTzOICsj7G9gDgC3RilTspUyqZNsB6_OKseXO7pqKiU

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