Madison County ILGenWeb

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Theaters in Mitchell, Illinois

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser


Bel-Air Drive-In Theater, Mitchell, Illinois

The Bel-Air Drive-In Theater opened in about February 1955 as a single-screen drive-in. It was located on E. Chain of Rocks Road (Historic Route 66) in Mitchell, Illinois (now part of Granite City). It was originally part of the Mid-American Theater chain based in St. Louis. In the 1970s, a second theater screen was erected. The Bel-Air could accommodate about 700 cars. The drive-in included a tiny indoor seating area, with a large picture window for during cold weather (the theater was open year-round).

BAC Theater chain operated the drive-in from 1982 until it closed in 1987. The theater was demolished by the mid-1990s, except for its colorful marquee. The marquee was taken down, however, in July 2018. Half of the sign was sold to Nathan Lippe, a collector in Hanover Park, Illinois, and the other half went to a man in North Dakota.

An industrial park now occupies the property.


                                              Bel-Air Drive-In Theater, Mitchell, IL - 1956                            Bel-Air Drive-In Theater, Mitchell, IL - 1955