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 21 comments)

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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 10:16 pm

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

bbrown1
bbrown1 on April 1, 2011 at 1:55 am

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 7:03 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 2, 2011 at 2:45 am

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 9:57 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 2:32 pm

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

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on June 4, 2019 at 6:53 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 3:24 pm

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 10:13 pm

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

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