Bel-Air Drive-In

Bel Air Drive,
Granite City, IL 62040

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Last Year of Operation

The Bel-Air Drive-In opened in the mid-1950’s as a single-screen drive-in, situated off the historic Route 66. It was originally part of the Mid-America Theatres chain, based in St. Louis. In the 1970’s, a second screen was built. At one time, the Bel-Air Drive-In could accomodate about 700 cars.

Its concession building also housed a tiny indoor seating area, with a large picture window, for when the weather was bad (since it was originally open year-round).

BAC Theatres ran the drive-in from 1982 until it closed in 1987. The Bel-Air Drive-In was completely demolished by the mid-1990’s except for its colorful and classy marquee (a large, bright red bell is behind the name of the drive-in), still in fairly good shape (except for the “R” in the “Air” part of the theater’s name is missing).

An industrial park is being constructed on the site of the Bel-Air Drive-In.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 26, 2009 at 10:45 am

It was hidden under another one. No worries.

JAlex on December 27, 2009 at 11:47 am

Venue operated from 1953 to 1986. The second screen was added in 1979.

Stomp on September 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Saw a war movie here that took place in the Vietnam era. Very violent. A guy was walking down a path and a tree stump with spikes came out of a tree and impaled him. LOL Far out.Wish I could remember the name of the movie. Also saw the Dick Van Dyke flick “Cold Turkey”.

DAL on September 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

That Vietnam movie sounds like “The Green Berets” with John Wayne. Jim Hutton met his demise in the fashion described.

Kenmore on February 26, 2015 at 5:53 am

In addition to the marquee, you can still see a partial outline and some ramps.

jwmovies on September 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Address is now Granite City not Mitchell. Bel Air Avenue is where the entrance was located. Some of the ramps are still visible.

Please update.

davidcoppock on February 19, 2018 at 5:01 am

The Vietnam era movie could be one of the Rambo movies or one of the Chuck Norris movies(where went back to rescue soliders though to be missing in action?), i forget the name of those movies?

Drive-In Theatre Preservation Society
Drive-In Theatre Preservation Society on July 21, 2018 at 6:32 am

Sign of the times: Old Bel-Air Drive-In sign dismantled, sold to collector

davidcoppock on July 21, 2018 at 6:48 am

The Chuck Norris movies were called “Missing in action”.

JAlex on July 21, 2018 at 9:13 am

The (Alton) Telegraph story gives the location of the venue as Pontoon Beach. A detailed map search agrees.

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