Apr. 5: Skyview Drive-In, Belleville IL

Skyview Drive-In marquee

photo by artistmac from the Carload Flickr pool

It’s Day 95 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. Thanks to I-70, It less than two and a half hours to drive faster than a mile a minute between the the Drive N Theatre in Newton and the Skyview Drive-In in Belleville IL.

I just wrote about the Skyview less than a month ago. That’s when the Belleview (IL) News-Democrat posted a little article with video showing how nice the Skyview sign used to look before the city outlawed flashing signs.

According to the history posted on the Skyview site, it’s persevered through plenty of trials. It first opened in July 1949, then widened its screen in 1953. A tornado caused extensive damage to the screen in 1955, was the screen was rebuilt “better than ever”. Another windstorm knocked out the screen in 1981, but it was rebuilt again and a second screen added for the 1982 season.

It’s rare to have both screens in a drive-in face roughly the same compass direction, but that’s the way they laid it out at the Skyview. The main screen faces the concession stand to its southeast, and the second screen looks south-southeast to a smaller projection booth.

The Skyview is only open on Fridays and Saturdays this time of year, so I missed out by arriving on a Wednesday. Oh well.

Miles Today / Total:  133 / 10646 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 46

Nearby Restaurant: The Tavern on Main is, as you would expect, a tavern on Main Street in Belleville. What isn’t as obvious is its extensive menu. I enjoyed a “New York Napoleon” steak topped with tomatoes and mozzarella. And since it is also a tavern, there were plenty of beer and wine selections to keep me entertained as I watched some sports on their big screens.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The Super 8 in Belleville is a pretty nice place, just a short stagger away from the Tavern on Main. My room had a mini-fridge and microwave, decent wifi, and a comfy bed. Breakfast was a bit spartan, but the amazing low price for my stay left me with plenty of cash for a heftier lunch.

Only in Belleville: Belleville is home to a really big shoe. According to Roadside America, it’s the Delilah Shoe, a seven-foot-tall red pump with a stiletto heel. Delilah, a nationally syndicated night-time radio host, wears a size 11 shoe.

Next stop: 19 Drive-In, Cuba MO.