Skyview Drive-In Theatre
Photo from the BAC Theatres collection.
Theater Group Inc|
5700 N Belt W
Belleville IL 62226
|Record #6119 |
Opened: July 8, 1949|
Capacity: 500 cars|
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: |
| Previously operated by: BAC Theatres|
Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.
OPENED: 7/8/49; "On Our Merry Way." CAPACITY: 500 cars.
Though the Bloomer chain (BAC) wound up owning quite a few drive-ins, only two were built from the ground up by the company: The Cahokia in Alorton, and this one. Like other drive-ins in the Bloomer family, the Skyview was originally painted "Bloomer Pink," a color chosen by Florence Bloomer.
The 60-foot screen was damaged by a storm in 1955, and its 115-foot replacement was said to be the widest in "this section of the country." At this time, the Skyview offered pony rides, a miniature train for the kiddies, and a ferris wheel in its "Kiddie Korral" playground.
Another storm took out the big screen in 1981, and its replacement was soon joined by a second screen, facing nearly the same direction.
In summer 1989, management confirmed rumors that real-estate purchase options were being considered. Nothing came of it, though, and the Skyview was allowed to live.
In 1994, an experiment with radio sound failed when the signal drifted. The following year, however, manager Larry Mann got to test a new system that was on its way to the drive-in in Litchfield, and ordered a similar one for the Skyview. It was inaugurated on June 30, 1995.
Though the Skyview is the only theatre still run by the Bloomer family, the Kerasotes chain handles their bookings. (This may have changed since the two companies were embroiled in a flap over the neighboring hardtop cinema; see the BAC Quad page for details.)
Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.
Photos from the Darren Snow collection.
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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 2/14/2014.