Bel Air Fly-In Drive-In

4351 Dancer Avenue,
St. Ansgar, IA 50472

100 cars

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Bel Air - St. Ansgar, IA

This was one of the few drive-ins in the U.S. that accommodated viewing by airplane as well as by automobile. “Andy” Anderson opened the theater in 1953, after operating the Roxy Theater in the same town. It had 8 ramps for ars and 1 ramp for airplanes which colud hold 8 planes. After a long run, the drive-in was closed in 1975.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 25, 2006 at 2:33 pm

Here is an article regarding the history of this drive-in:

kencmcintyre on May 25, 2006 at 3:44 pm

The article I posted discusses the Bel Air Drive-In, but also calls it the Fly-In Drive-In. I’m not sure which one is correct.

kencmcintyre on May 25, 2006 at 3:59 pm

Of course, if it was a bad film, the airsick bags would be in the seat pocket in front of you.

shoeshoe14 on September 6, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Was mentioned in the documentary “Drive-In Movie Memories” in 2001.

jwmovies on September 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in (and the connecting air field) was 4351 Dancer Avenue.

bloosoda on October 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

Located west of town off of Rt 105, the site is now a residence and winery, the Bel-Air Winery. At its peak, the theatre held over 100 cars and could accommodate small planes that would taxi over from an adjacent runway strip. The screen blew down in the mid-1970s.

Steve and Lorraine Beland purchased the 13 acre property in 1988. Years later, the Belands (along with business partner, Adam Strouf) proceeded to convert the buildings into uses for a new winery operation…which opened in 2007. In 2008, the Belands set up a 16' x 16' screen and showed free movies (off DVDs) to the public…sort of reopening the drive-in for the locals to enjoy. The Belands have since retired and their son has taken over the winery…but, it appears the drive-in has closed for good. [Much of this info from an article out of the Mason City (IA) Globe Gazette and writer, Warren Haacke]

davidcoppock on February 23, 2017 at 3:47 am

I think there was also Fly-in Drive-in’s in Mobile, Alabama and Spearman, Texas! No other information known?

MichaelKilgore on April 19, 2020 at 10:19 am

The Bel-Air’s owner ran a classified ad in Boxoffice in 1981 trying to sell it. “Absentee owner retired after twenty seasons. Fully equipped but screen needs rebuilding. $10,000 down with good terms.”

50sSNIPES on October 20, 2023 at 8:32 am

This started life as the Roxy Outdoor Drive-In in July 1953 with an original capacity of 300 cars and a 50ft Glatex screen. The concession stand measures 25x50ft, while the snack bar measuring 30x16ft and the projection booth measuring 14x14ft.

Way before the theater officially became a fly-in drive-in in 1964, free airplane rides were presented for the kiddies near the drive-in as well. During the 1964 season, Anderson opened a strip for airplanes, which eventually downgraded its car capacity to 100 cars.

Kenmore on October 20, 2023 at 8:55 am

Looking at Google Maps, you’d never know a drive-in existed on the property. The grass air strip is gone and virtually all traces of the drive-in as well.

Today, there is a house that sits about where the screen was located. About the only remnant remaining is the foundation of the ticket booth/concession stand located at the end of the entrance road.

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