Cahokia Drive-In

Highway 15,
Alorton, IL 62207

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: B-A-C Theatres

Architects: George M. Peterson

Nearby Theaters

Silhouette of the old marquee

The Cahokia Drive-In was located on Highway 15 in Alorton IL. adjacent to the Cahokia Downs Racetrack. Alorton is a suburb of East St Louis. It was one of two drive-ins that were actually built by Bloomer Amusement Company (BAC), the other being the still open Sky View Drive-In in Belleville.

The Cahokia Drive-In was noted for its marquee, which featured a dancing Indian in neon lights. It opened September 22, 1955 with John Payne in “The Road to Denver” & Judy Canova in “Lay That Rifle Down”. It was closed in 1982 and was demolished to make way for construction of Interstate 255. The racetrack also has been closed and demolished, leaving very little evidence of a once thriving business and entertainment area. The site of the racetrack has recently been developed into a new business park in Alorton which features a Flying J Travel Plaza on I-255.

There is often a lot of confusion regarding the three drive-ins in the East St Louis area with connections to the name "Cahokia". The Cahokia Drive-In was actually located in the town of Alorton. Meanwhile, the Futura Drive-In was located in the nearby town of Cahokia. I had always thought that the Futura Drive-In at one point also went by the name Cahokia Drive-In, and I thought I drove by it and it had that name in the late-1970’s. But I may be mistaken because I think the Cahokia Drive-In in Alorton was still open at that time. It seems unlikely that two separate open drive-ins only a few miles apart would have the same name.

I would be interested to have that issue clarified. To add to the confusion, on the other side of East St Louis was the Mounds Drive-In (later the Falcon Drive- In) which was located on the site of Cahokia Mounds, near Fairmont City.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

JAlex on August 5, 2008 at 9:50 am

The Cahokia Drive-In (in Alorton) ceased operation in 1978. The following spring the Futura Drive-In (in Cahokia) became known as the Cahokia South Drive-In. Since then confusion has reigned.

JAlex on August 6, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Closing night of the Cahokia Drive-In was September 30, 1978.
The ad in the Metro-East Journal read: “Last Chance! This Friday and Saturday are the final nights of operation for the Cahokia Drive-In. Yes, that’s right, the state bought us out to build a new highway and we are closing our gates forever. Witness the closing af a chapter in history and spend the night at our…Friday and Sturday All Night X-Rated Marathon.”

In the spring of 1979 the Bloomer operated Futura Drive-In, in Cahokia, is renamed the Cahokia South.

Cholla on October 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

When are they going to build the highway? As it is right now it’s no better than a six lane goat path.

Kenmore on November 22, 2015 at 8:54 pm

A better address is New Missouri Ave & US Route 50 & Missouri Ave, Alorton, Illinois. You can actually see part of the ramps remaining on the north side of the cloverleaf.

TomMc11 on April 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Directly to the north of the intersection that Kenmore mentions is an oddly shaped and out of place mini-forest of trees. Look close…that was the back corner of the drive-in.

JAlex on April 12, 2018 at 11:35 am

Opening date was 9/22/55.

MitchWolf on January 30, 2021 at 2:53 pm

Got a better marquee picture posted…. Should be the main page picture

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 23, 2021 at 2:09 am

Boxoffice of September 10, 1955 said that the new Cahokia Drive-In, soon to open at Alorton, had been designed by Cleveland architect-engineer George M. Petersen.

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