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 in 1981 damaged the 115 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 20 comments)

CSWalczak on June 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

The City of Belleville is contributing half the cost of demolishing the Quad Cinema; the Skyview now has to remain open for at least ten years, or the Skyview owner will have to reimburse the city for these half costs. There is an article with video here: View link

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 18, 2010 at 10:03 am

If you include the land from the Quad, there’s room enough to fit 4 screens in there! Can’t wait to see the finished product next time I’m in St. Louis.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on March 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

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

bbrown1 on March 31, 2011 at 5:55 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 11:03 am

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 on April 1, 2011 at 6:45 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 1:57 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 on March 22, 2018 at 7:32 am

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

MichaelKilgore on June 4, 2019 at 10:53 am

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 on June 6, 2019 at 7:24 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.

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