Starlight Drive-In

3500 College Avenue,
Alton, IL 62002

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Starlight Drive-In

The Starlight Drive-In opened May 6, 1950, and originally had space for 400 cars. The original screen tower was huge, and very futuristic-looking for its day, like something out of a 1930’s Flash Gordon movie set. The drive-in’s name was spelled out in enormous illuminated letters.

In the mid-1970’s, a second screen was added and parking was increased to 960. (Soon afterward, this was reduced to about 800 when a playground was built under the original screen). The theater was part of the BAC Theatres chain for the majority of its time in operation.

The Starlight Drive-In closed October 14, 1984, when the property was sold to a developer, and a medical building was built on the site.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 23, 2008 at 1:17 am

Here is a June 1960 ad from the Alton Evening Telegraph:

kencmcintyre on December 13, 2008 at 1:56 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, May 1950:

ALTON,ILL.-Rains on April 27 and 28 forced the postponement of the grand opening of the Starlight Drive-In here, owned by the Alton Starlight Corp., in which Joe Goldfarb and Harry Beck of Alton and Charley Goldman of St. Louis are the principal stockholders. New opening date was May 6. It will have accommodations for between 750 and 1,000 cars.

llafikes on February 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm

The playground was built long before the second screen was added. At one time, the playground featured a working miniature train that offered rides to children before the show.

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on November 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Did BAC eventually take over this theater?

MitchWolf on February 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Yeah they ran merely all the drive ins in the 70s and 80s (except for the Shop City and the Falcon)

MitchWolf on February 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm

*In the metro east area

JAlex on February 19, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Opened May 6, 1950. Closed October 14, 1984. Bloomer took over in April, 1952.

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